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Belgian PM files complaint against radio host who told listeners to shoot him

Belgian PM files complaint against radio host who told listeners to shoot him

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Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has filed a complaint against a local radio presenter who allegedly called on listeners to shoot him.

“The journalist called on listeners to ‘go ahead despite the security around that guy’ and referred to the attack on Prime Minister Fico in Slovakia,” De Croo’s Communications Director Barend Leyts said in a post on social media.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico — who is currently in “stable, but very serious” condition — was shot on Wednesday afternoon. A 71-year-old man, Juraj Cintula, has been charged with attempted murder.

“Calling for violence is punishable. The complaint has been submitted to the Waregem police. The Prime Minister continues his campaign,” Leyts said. Belgium is due to hold federal elections on June 9.

According to the news channel of the Flemish public broadcaster VRT, the presenter at local Waregem1 radio station said: “To all those who consider shooting Alexander De Croo, but don’t dare to do so because of the security of that guy. You see that it is possible to shoot down a prime minister. So I would say: Go ahead.”

In a statement, Waregem1, which airs from the Belgian province of West Flanders, said it had immediately suspended the presenter, arguing that “he completely misjudged the timing and context and therefore could not make this statement.”

“Yesterday there was a misplaced statement at Waregem1 by an employee. The presenter says that he meant this in a playful way, but it didn’t come across that way. He apologizes to the listeners and Waregem1,” the statement said.

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