A teenager who blamed his local mayor for the death of his father has confessed to slashing the politician’s throat in a cemetery, according to reports.
Alfred Gadenne, 71, mayor of Mouscron and a former politician in the regional parliament, was found dead on Monday in the cemetery where he opened and locked the gates every day.
His death shocked the country, with the Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel expressing his alarm at the killing on Twitter.
He wrote: “I learn with alarm the brutal death of Alfred Gadenne. All my thoughts go to his family and loved ones.”
The public prosecutor said a man was under arrest after handing himself in to police at the scene in Mouscron, close to the French border.
Public broadcaster RTBF said the suspect was 18 and told police he was avenging the death of his father, who killed himself in 2015 after losing his job as a local council employee.
Mr Gadenne, whose death has prompted tributes across the political spectrum, acted as caretaker for the cemetery next to his home and was killed after going to lock up for the night.
Martine Aubry, a former French Socialist party leader and long-time mayor of neighbouring Lille, said she was “horrified” at Mr Gadenne’s death.
Philippe Courard, president of the parliament for Belgium’s French-speaking south, tweeted: “Terrifying. What kind of world are we living in?”