What Life Is Like Now For Bernard Wesphael From Under Suspicion
Bernard Wesphael might not be a household name in the United States just yet, but he probably soon will be. The subject of one of Netflix’s most talked about new shows, Under Suspicion: Uncovering the Wesphael Case, Wesphael is a former member of the Belgian parliament who was arrested for the suspected killing of his wife, Véronique Pirotton, in 2013, as detailed by The Brussels Times.
While he was eventually acquitted in 2016 due to lack of compelling evidence, many aspects of his trial, which captured media attention in Europe when it occurred, were seemingly odd, reported Médor. Not only did Wesphael’s testimony change throughout the trial process, but the autopsy evidence pointed to foul play, causing the former MP to spend almost a year in prison. Pirotton’s death — and Wesphael’s alleged involvement — are the subject of Netflix’s new show, just one of the many new series under the “true crime” umbrella.
Bernard Wesphael has left the case behind — almost
Bernard Wesphael was acquitted in 2016, but the fallout from the trial did not truly come to a conclusion for him until 2020. As reported by The Brussels Times, Wesphael received a payment from a special panel of jurists consisting of the presidents of the Cassation Court, the Council of State, and the Bar Association. This special council was convened after Wesphael’s initial attempt at receiving restitution for his incarceration was turned down. According to the publication, Wesphael received “€83,150 – €150 for each of the 299 days he spent in prison, plus €38,300 for the costs of his defence and independent analyses,” a sum that was considerably less than that for which he originally asked.
With the restitution out of the way, Wesphael is now looking to the future. He was a founding member and chairman of the Ecolo party, a green-focused political movement, according to Nieuwsblad, though he left the party and politics in general behind after the trial. Now, however, the coronavirus pandemic has changed his mind. The publication reported Wesphael has started a new political party, Movement for Democracy and Citizenship, and is focused on “concrete proposals” to help the “citizen’s movement.”
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