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Guilty Verdicts In Premier’s Kidnapping Trial

January 14, 1994

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ Three gang members have been convicted of kidnapping a former prime minister in 1989.

Paul Vanden Boeynants, who was prime minister from 1966-68 and 1978-1979, was held for a month by the so-called Haemers Gang and released after his family paid a ransom of $1.7 million.

Gang leader Patrick Haemers committed suicide in April while awaiting trial on kidnapping and other charges.

Michel Vander Elst, Haemers’ lawyer Marc Vandam, and Philippe Lacroix were convicted Thursday night after a four-month trial.

Three other gang members were convicted of crimes linked to a string of armed robberies in the 1980s in which three people were killed.

Sentencing of the six is expected Monday.

A seventh defendant was acquitted.