Home | News    Monday 12 July 2004

No new charges against Sudanese arrested in Belgium

BRUSSELS, July 12, 2004 (AP) — Belgian authorities have no immediate plans to press terrorism charges against two Sudanese citizens detained for traveling on false papers and quizzed over possible al-Qaida links, officials said Monday.

"The only thing they are charged with is forgery and use of forged documents," said an official from the Brussels magistrate’s office.

He declined to give further details beyond saying that an investigation was continuing. Belgium’s RTBF radio cited judicial sources saying suspicions of "a terrorist link" appeared to be unfounded.

The two men were detained Friday after flying in from Athens, using false Belgian passports.

Media reports said the pair had photographs of suicide bombers in their luggage and carried cell phones that contained numbers that raised suspicion of police, including one listed under the name bin Laden.

The pair, whose names were not released, said they were escaping from the violence-torn Darfur region of western Sudan and were planning to travel to the U.K. to seek political asylum, Belgian officials said.