Brothers kidnap and abuse man who disrupts mother’s mourning ceremony: prosecutor demands up to three years in prison (Antwerp)

The B. brothers lost their mother in mid-December 2021. As is tradition in the Moroccan community, a funeral service took place in the parental home in the Vandenpeereboomstraat in Borgerhout. “The front door was open, people came and went to show their support for the B family,” said Master Sam Vlaminck, one of the brothers’ lawyers. “Hamza behaved very disrespectfully that evening towards the B. family, who know him well. Hamza drove around the street, stopped in front of the door, opened the windows of his car and played loud music. He even danced. This is absolute not done at a time when a family faces immense grief over the loss of a mother. It is absolutely no excuse for the acts committed by the brothers. They were wrong, let me be very clear about that. I just want to provide the context that started this story.”

The offenses for which the Public Prosecution Service is prosecuting the three brothers are described as serious assault and battery and unlawful deprivation of liberty. Hurt about what would have happened during the funeral ceremony, the B. brothers decided to call their acquaintance Hamza EO to account. Hamza EO was lured to an appointment, but was then pushed into a car and taken for a car ride. “A hellish ride, full of horror”, is how Omar Souidi, the victim’s counsel, described the ride. “He received a series of blows that made his eye sockets swell and his lips burst open.”

“He is anxious”

Master Souidi spoke of the agony his client had endured during the short journey. “He was convinced he was going to die,” said Souidi. “In fact, during the ride, the brothers threatened that they would also rape his wife and child. And he had every reason to believe they would carry out those threats. They drove to his house and rang the doorbell. Fortunately, my client’s wife, who works in healthcare, was not at home, so they could not carry out their attempted rape.”

Master Souidi asked the court to impose a provisional compensation of 7500 euros and to appoint an expert to calculate the exact damage of his client. The consequences of the kidnapping and assault had left Hamza with a trauma, says Souidi. “He sleeps badly, is anxious and does not even dare to go outside.”

Master Jorgen Van Laer had a hard time with the story of Hamza EO and the claim that lawyer Souidi had made on his behalf. “I still want to assume that the facts were traumatic for the victim,” said Van Laer. “But I don’t accept the fact that you are unable to quantify your damage in concrete terms. You say you sleep badly and don’t dare go outside, but you don’t provide any proof of your damage. So I don’t think it’s necessary to appoint an expert. The file also contains an extensive report from the law doctor who examined Hamza. The court can perfectly award an amount of damages, and my client and his brothers will also pay the damages.”


Hamza EO denied that he would have misbehaved on the evening of the funeral, as the brothers B. had claimed. The B. brothers stated to the court that they regretted their actions. “I want to apologize again to Hamza. I hope one day he can forgive us for what we did to him.”


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