Dutch men get up to 27 years for Belgian lord's castle murder

The Belgian castle where Stijn Saelens was murdered (Picture: Twitter/@JanHenkVink). (The Belgian castle where Stijn Saelens was murdered (Picture: Twitter/@JanHenkVink))

Two Dutch men were sentenced to 15 and 27 years in prison for the murder of Belgian lord Stijn Saelens in his castle near the village of Bruges in 2012. Belgian man Andre G., the farther in law of the victim, also got 27 years for "ordering" his son-in-law's murder, RTL Nieuws reports.

Saelens, a 34-year-old real estate trader, disappeared at the end of January 2012. Traces of his blood and a bullet casing were found in his castle. His body was discovered in a well in a forest 10 kilometers away a few weeks later. 

Andre G., a 67-year-old doctor, suspected his son-in-law of abusing his grandchildren an did not like the style in which he raised them, he told the court when confessing last year. When Saelens wanted to move his family to Australia, G. decided something had to be done. The plan to murder Saelens was devised by G.'s friend Pierre S. The 67-year-old man was sentenced to 21 years in prison on Wednesday. 

The actual murder was carried out by Ronald van B. from Eindhoven, who died years ago. His nephew, 41-year-old Franciscus 'Roy' L. from Tilburg, confessed to helping his uncle with the murder - he acted as driver and helped to hide the body. L. was sentenced to 15 years in prison. 

The other Dutch suspect, 54-year-old Evert de C. from IJzendijke in Zeeland, provided the contacts for the other two Dutch perpetrators and paid them for the murder. The court sentenced this "professional criminal, who acted without scruples and exclusively for profit" to 27 years in prison, according to the broadcaster.