Sunday, October 1, 2023

Was the PTB aware of the Warmoes affair? The surprising “I didn’t know” by Sofie Merckx and Raoul Hedebouw

Faced with the accusations that he rejects, Warmoes, who, he said, had resigned from his mandate as a deputy in July for other reasons, resigned from the municipal council of Namur, the last elected position he held.

It is an understatement to say that the matter causes discomfort in political circles, where we remember that Thierry Warmoes has presided for four years, since 2019, of the Health and Equal Opportunities Commission of the Chamber, the one in which we deal precisely… with domestic violence.

“Beat, dragged by my hair, I was a beaten woman”: Ana accuses former deputy Thierry Warmoes, who claims that his wife “says anything”

Was the PTB conscious? Did he know, when he was appointed, in July 2019, that a complaint had been filed against the person he chose to chair the commission where measures are taken against violence against women?

Questioned by our colleague Gauvain Dos Santos, Raoul Hedebouw and Sofie Merckx, respectively president and head of the PTB group in the House of Representatives, stated that they did not know. Unless.

Ana Lara Erazo and Thierry Warmoes. ©DR

Sofie Merckx responded

The question was put to Mrs. Merckx in these terms. “The facts that are attributed to Thierry Warmoes date back to 2019, before he assumed the presidency of the Chamber’s Health Commission where we talked about measures against violence against women. Were the facts that are accused of him known in within the PTB? If so, since when? Why were you allowed to preside over this commission under these conditions?

Sophie Merckx responded last Tuesday: “We knew that Mr. Warmoes was going through a divorce and that it was complicated. But we were not aware of this suspicion of domestic violence.”

Ms Merckx adds that she was not informed of Mr Warmoes’ ex-wife’s difficulties until the end of August, after the victim sent a letter to “Medicine for the People”, the PTB’s health body.

Unfortunately, this is not what emerges from the messages that Mr. Warmoes’ ex-wife saves on her smartphone. Since February 28, 2020, she attempted, via Messenger, to alert Ms. Merckx.

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In a long message, Ana Lara Erazo details her life as an abused woman, psychologically abused and economically neglected, alone to take care of the children while the money from the house disappears into the PTB, her husband pays between 948 and 1,500 euros each month to the party while she herself, without resources, depends on the CPAS.

In the message, Ana writes to Mrs. Merckx: “Thierry Warmoes attacked me on several occasions, the consequences of which I have today, with my inability to work.”

The small crosses show that the federal deputy opened the message. She never responded.

Unrest in the Chamber: the former president of the “defense of women” commission accused of violence against his ex-wife

Raoul Hedebouw responded

For his part, Raoul Hedebouw, also questioned by the DH, responded: “I was not aware of the existence of this complaint. We would have had a completely different discussion if that had been the case. I only knew that “there was a complicated divorce.”

Raoul Hedebouw, head of the PTB group in the Chamber in 2019, when Thierry Warmoes assumed the presidency of the Health Commission, therefore claims that he was not aware and that he was only informed very recently, at the time when the DH started to address the issue. Issue on September 7, twelve days ago.

Unfortunately, the messages preserved by Mr. Warmoes’ ex-wife contradict Mr. Hedebouw’s statements.

Raoul Hedebouw Ended Up Blocking Sendings In The Messenger Application
Raoul Hedebouw ended up blocking sendings in the Messenger application ©Bernard Demoulin and DR

On February 28, 2020 at 10:55 a.m., Ana Lara Erazo sent her a message that Mrs. Hedebouw opened, without following up. The ex-wife will also send many others by email and registered mail, including to the parliament on rue de Louvain and to the town hall of Liège, where Hedebouw is a municipal councillor.

Mr. Hedebouw will refuse to receive certified mail.

On August 15, further noticing that Mr. Hedebouw has blocked her on the Messenger application, a pained Ana will send the following message: “Hello Mr. Hedebouw, once again you have ignored my email of 01/08/2023 , as well as “

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Two other PTB deputies

Ulcerated by seeing her ex-husband chair this Health and Equal Opportunities Commission in the Chamber since 2019, in the face of the indifference of Merckx and Hedebouw, Ana Lara Erazo alerts other PTB figures, who favor women at the forefront of feminism. , feminicide, violence against women.

On December 6, 2022, the ex-wife of Mr. Warmoes, who had come expressly from Namur, met in Brussels with the regional deputy Françoise De Smedt, during a demonstration at the central station in which the head of the PTB group participated in the Brussels Parliament. . A block of ice. “Mrs De Smedt, to whom I explained everything, did nothing.”

Ana again wanted to alert the PTB federal deputy María Vindevoghel, who ignored her, she said.

Chez Anouk Vandevoorde

“In 2019 I was not aware of the existence of this complaint,” Mr. Hedebouw responds. “We would have had a completely different discussion if that had been the case.”

The PTB announced on July 11, 2019 that it would chair the Health Commission, where Thierry Warmoes would later be appointed. Karl Boulanger, a resident of Namur, was then head of the Legs section of the PTB. Karl has eyes and ears. He remembers it very well. He agreed to testify. “At the beginning of July 2019, I personally participated in the last meeting of the DirCa (Campaign Directorate, editor’s note) during which we discussed in the PTB the complaint filed by Thierry Warmoes’ ex-wife at the Namur police station. Anouk Vandevoorde participated in this meeting, as well as his colleague Robin Bruyère. This meeting took place in the dining room of his house. Robin Bruyère spoke about the future of Thierry Warmoes, stating that he (Warmoes) was going to have, if necessary, to step aside and for him (Robin Bruyère) to succeed him as provincial president of the PTB of Namur-Luxembourg “.

Robin Bruyère replaced Warmoes in the House of Representatives. Anouk Vandevoorde is the new president of the PTB Namur -Luxembourg. Ten days ago, she, who participated in the meeting that took place at her house in 2019, reacted in the following way on social networks: “I discovered the article this morning in the press.”

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Thierry Warmoes resigns from the Namur municipal council after the La DH revelations

“Absolutely everything “

But let’s let Karl Boulanger continue with what happened at the beginning of July 2019 at the PTB when, remember, Raoul Hedebouw claims that he was not aware: “Raoul Hedebouw was perfectly aware of everything, not only the divorce from Mr. Warmoes, but Also of his ex-wife’s complaint against him. Raoul had also instructed Thierry Warmoes to keep him informed about the development of the case, very concerned about being the image that a newly elected PTB deputy accused by his ex-wife could give. of domestic violence.

Karl Boulanger specifies that “the day Thierry Warmoes was called to the Namur police after his ex-wife’s complaint, Raoul Hedebouw wanted Warmoes to keep him informed hour after hour. Raoul was very, very worried. I remember very well, it happened during a meeting of the DJ (Daily Management, ed.) at the PTB premises in Saint-Servais. I was even the one who passed the communications from Warmoes to Raoul, who informed me. Raoul Hedebouw knew absolutely everything.

On July 11, 2019, the PTB forcefully announced (“We will be the megaphones of the fight,” it published) that it was assuming the presidency of the Health and Equal Opportunities commission. On the following October 9, Thierry Warmoes chaired the first commission of questions. According to testimony and according to messages preserved by Warmoes’ ex-wife, the governing bodies of the PTB, who responded last week to DH that they were not aware, knew this. They knew this when they allowed Thierry Warmoes in 2019 to become president of this parliamentary committee where we debate the measures to be taken against violence against women.

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