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The stabbing suspect will not be charged with unborn baby death

Picture courtesy: BBC

A man has been arrested in Belgium after he attempted to kill his 9-month-pregnant wife, but surprisingly he will not be charged with the murder of an unborn baby.

This man attacked his wife after an argument. He stabbed her face and neck several times. His wife is fighting for life, but her child could not be saved.

The suspect told police he remembered grabbing the knife from the kitchen but claimed to have forgotten what happened next because he had been drinking alcohol, reports say.

The man, named only as Aslan, was of Chechen origin and was not known to the police for acts of domestic violence.

He was arrested and charged with attempted murder.

But prosecutors say no charge can be brought for the death of the unborn baby, which was not yet recognised as a person under Belgium criminal law.

Belgian criminal lawyer Rik Vanreusel told the BBC a baby that has not yet been born does not exist as a legal entity in the eyes of criminal law in Belgium. That means people can't be prosecuted for harming or killing an unborn baby, intentionally or not, he said.

Instead, women who lost their babies in such cases sometimes sued their alleged attackers for damages, he said.

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