Belgian Transport Minister to Quit Over Airport Security

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -
Belgian police officers and soldiers control the access to Brussels' main airport in Zaventem, Belgium, in this April 1, 2016 file photo. REUTERS/Yves Herman/Files
Belgian police officers and soldiers control the access to Brussels’ main airport in Zaventem, Belgium, April 1. (Reuters/Yves Herman/Files)

The Belgian transport minister resigned on Friday, local media said, after accusations she lied about an EU report that criticized security at Brussels Airport long before last month’s bombing.

Public broadcaster RTBF said Prime Minister Charles Michel had accepted the resignation of Jacqueline Galant. Michel had earlier defended the minister, who is from his own centrist party in the coalition government, saying her office had not been aware of a critical report sent a year ago by EU officials.

Government officials could not immediately be reached for comment. RTBF quoted a spokesman for the centrist MR party saying that documents presented late on Thursday had shown that Galant’s office had indeed been informed of the EU report.

On March 22, two Islamic State suicide bombers detonated suitcase bombs in the departure hall of Brussels Airport before a third struck a metro train in the city. In all, they killed 32 people.