De Gelder’s defence had pleaded for his internment in a psychiatric institution, arguing that he was insane and unfi t for trial. A committal hearing in Dendermonde passed that question to a higher court in Ghent, which rejected the application. Th e jury will now decide whether he is to be interned or imprisoned.
Jaak Haentjens, De Gelder’s lawyer (pictured), said he was disappointed by the decision but understood it in the circumstances. “I know the victims have a lot of questions, but I doubt whether they will get any answers”. He will continue to plead De Gelder’s insanity in the trial, which will begin at the end of this year or early in 2013.