The ex-couple were arrested in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast, in November 2019 after Europol placed Van Aker on a special list of most wanted women just a month earlier. Her ex-husband Lacot has been on the Europol list for quite some time. A little later they were extradited to Belgium.
The two were arrested in 1996 on suspicion of killing the Briton, but they fled to South Africa in exchange for parole. There, Lacote ended up in prison after an attempted kidnapping. Van Aker released him in 2008 in a startling fashion by impersonating a policeman. Since then, any trace of the two has been lost. In 2011, they were sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment in Belgium for the murder of the businessman.
Also in the new trial, in which the life sentence can be reviewed in the presence of the suspects, the jury is now ruling that they are guilty of the murder. They themselves have preserved their innocence.
Lacott and Van Aker are considering appealing their convictions. They have fourteen days to do this.
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