Alice Gross’s Sister Criticises BBC For Linking Immigration Debate With Teenager’s Death

Nina Gross tweeted that Question Time was being insensitive by pushing 'political agendas' following the discovery of her sister's body...


by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

Alice Gross, 14, has been found dead in a canal near her home following weeks of police investigation – the biggest since the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London. The killer is believed by police to be Latvian immigrant Arnis Zalkalns, reports the BBC. Not only was he spotted on CCTV cycling along the same stretch of canal as Alice about 15 minutes after she had passed by, but he’s been missing for a week after Alice was last seen.

And then there’s the pertinent fact that BBC* Question Tim*e picked up on – that the 41-year-old has spent seven years in prison in Latvia after killing his wife in 1997. He had believed she was a lesbian, so one night after she failed to come home, he made a weapon by welding together a knife with a metal pole. He then used it to stab her several times.

Yep, apparently in Latvia if you are so intent on killing your wife that you actually make a specific weapon to do it with, you only get locked up for seven years. Zalkalns then travelled to the UK to work as a labourer.

Anyway, without mentioning the Alice Gross case directly – at the moment, Zalkalns is still a suspect and has not been arrested or charged – BBC Question Time referenced it, with the debate: ‘Does Freedom of Movement across EU borders include convicted criminals?’

The debate sparked Alice’s sister Nina to break her Twitter silence following the discovery and identification of her sister’s body. She pointed out on the site that she didn’t want the family to be brought into a debate about immigration:

The programme’s Twitter account apologised to her, via Twitter, as they didn’t want her to be upset:

The sad truth is – though the question might seem relevant, especially in light of recent events – Alice’s death is just too recent to be drawn into a political policy debate, especially when the murder is still unsolved. Even if Question Time would argue that it comes in the same week that David Cameron promised voters an EU referendum.

What’s even more tragic is that if Zalkalns has fled the UK, Latvian police have no power to arrest him. So it could prove tricky to discover whether or not he’s connected to Alice’s murder, at all.

No wonder then, that the Goss family are keen to refocus the real debate on the invesigation into what actually happened to Alice.


Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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