Belgian PM Elio di Rupo's laptop stolen from car

Elio di Rupo (file pic May 2014) Elio di Rupo became prime minister in 2011 but took on the role of caretaker leader after elections in May

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A thief has broken into the car of outgoing Belgian Prime Minister Elio di Rupo in Brussels, stealing his laptop.

The theft took place on Monday while Mr di Rupo was at the gym, but details have only just emerged.

His spokesman has denied reports that the laptop contained state secrets and sensitive details about the royal family.

The theft primarily involved "personal notes and some work documents", the spokesman said.

The thief saw his chance when Mr di Rupo's driver popped into a bookshop while the prime minister was in the gym in the centre of Brussels, Dutch-language daily Het Laatste Nieuws reported on Thursday.

He smashed a side window in the Audi A6, folded the back seat and found the laptop in the boot of the car.

The prime minister made a statement to police soon afterwards in which the newspaper reported he had referred to important details about internal politics and the royal family.

A briefcase, suit, white shirt and mobile phone charger were among other items stolen, the report said.

But Mr di Rupo's spokesman said the theft did not involve classified information or state secrets and the laptop itself was thoroughly protected. Such documents were always transported according to rules and adapted procedures, a statement said.

Brussels police are investigating the theft.

Mr di Rupo's computers have received unwanted attention in the past, too. In September 2013, federal prosecutors opened an inquiry into two possible hacking incidents in the prime minister's office.

A French-speaking Socialist, he took on the role of prime minister in 2011 after more than 500 days of political deadlock in which Belgium was left without a government.

He submitted his resignation after elections in May this year, but has continued in the role in a caretaker capacity.

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