Thousands attend funeral of policeman killed in Charleroi shooting

Thousands of people attended the funeral of police officer Jonathan Savel at the Saint-Martin church in Basècles on Saturday. The 36-year-old special forces officer was killed during a house search in Lodelinsart on Monday. 

Savel received a national tribute in the presence of a representative of the Royal Palace, the ministers of the Interior, Defence and Justice and the Walloon minister-president.

Interior minister Annelies Verlinden posthumously awarded Savel the first class civil cross. Thousands of people came to pay their last respects to the officer, including hundreds of police officers from all over the country who formed a guard of honour in the street leading to the church. 

"Jonathan was one of the best members of the special forces"

The coffin was taken to the church in Basècles, in Hainaut province, in a special forces vehicle. Dozens of Savel's colleagues had gathered at the church. 

"Jonathan was one of the best members of the special forces. He was a strong team player," the director of the special forces said in a speech. "He always put the group first, he was always energetic. His comrades-in-arms were his second family."

"He fought a real battle for the safety of us all"

"He always carried out his missions successfully, in a composed and controlled manner, protecting the physical integrity of third parties and his colleagues so well," said the director.

"He was aware of the dangers. He made a significant contribution to the fight against organised crime and terrorism. He fought a real battle for the safety of us all," he said.

The private funeral took place after the ceremony. 


Interior minister Annelies Verlinden at the funeral of police officer Jonathan Savel, 23 March 2024 © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

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