Judge Geneviève Denisty on banker Laurent X being targeted: it is your own fault, "since it is not very prudent to draw attention to yourself by driving a Jaguar, living in a beautiful house and exhibit a certain wealth in an economically poor and disadvantaged region like Charleroi".
A number of foreign news outlets were quick to pick the story up. Among them the UK's The Telegraph:
"The crime victim, a businessman named only as Laurent, had been living in a suburb of Charleroi, in Belgium's depressed French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. He moved north after a series of violent attacks and robberies on his family but was taken to a local court because he had not paid back a grant to renovate his house in 1998.
In 2001, the victim was attacked and his BMW car was stolen. Shortly after it was recovered, armed men stormed his home and stole it a second time. In 2006, his wife and children were threatened by armed raiders, who stormed his home at night and dragged him away in his pyjamas while his horrified family looked on. He was later freed and dumped on a industrial estate as the thieves made off with another one of his cars, a Jaguar.
Geneviève Denisty, a Charleroi civil judge, told the businessman that he must pay back over £5,000 in renovation grants because he had behaved "unreasonably" in leaving the region.
"It is perhaps not sensible to draw attention to oneself by driving a Jaguar and living in a big house, making an ostentatious display of one's wealth in a poor and damaged region like Charleroi," said the judge.
The businessman's lawyer accused the civil court of supporting "hooligans". "In Charleroi, you must drive in a Trabant, wear a tracksuit and live in a slum to be safe from criminals and above reproach from judges," said Clément de Clety.
Charleroi is a sad decrepit bulwark of the Parti Socialiste, the "Party of 1,000,000 scandals" - in all likelihood the most corrupt political party in the entire western hemisphere. The PS has been in charge in Charleroi since, oh, since Julius Caesar was playing with tin soldiers or something. Curiously, after spreading the wealth around and shifting incomes towards the poor for aeons, Charleroi remains dirt poor and a very dangerous place to live. The place is known for producing and exporting curious individuals. Below to the left you see Marc Dutroux, Belgium's notorious paedophile/killer who in the mid-nineties let four young girls he had sexually abused starve to death in a dungeon he had built under his house. If not with a renovation premium, then in any case with the monthly 2,000 EUR check he got for free from the Walloon government for being "handicapped".
To the right you see Muriel Degauque, who lived a life of sex and drugs, though presumably not that much rock 'n roll, until she met a salafist asshole who convinced her that blowing yourself up in zhe name of Allah is a cool thing to do. She became the west's first female suicide bomber, self-detonating in Iraq in 2005 upon the passing of an American convoy. Luckily, there were only a couple of scratches on the paint of one truck (don't say too quick it's again a chick). Or how, while the Parti Socialiste is adamant about not sending Belgian soldiers to fight alongside their American colleagues, its policies nevertheless ensure that at least some Belgians are in the thick of the fight. Madame Degauque is with Allah now, though, as she was not a virgin anymore at the time of her passing, her services are probably declined upon the arrival of likeminded males.
Yeah, spreading the wealth around and realizing income shifts to help the poor really helps man. This guy gets it.
According to Mr. Baucus, Americans can sleep safe and secure in anticipation of a prosperous and just society because his party just did a Charleroi to the US of A! Yeee-haw!!!