A British oil executive has been shot dead in front of his wife in what appears to have been an assassination-style killing in Belgium.
Nicholas Mockford, 60, an executive for ExxonMobil, was gunned down as he left an Italian restaurant in a suburb of the capital Brussels.
He was shot three times, once as he lay on he floor. He wife, Mary, was beaten. He died on the way to hospital.
Reports suggest two men were spotted running away from the scene, one holding a motorcycle helmet.
The shooting is understood to have happened on October 14, but news about the attack only emerged on Friday after Belgian police imposed a news blackout, reports said.
The Daily Telegraph said police in Belgium were considering all possible motives for the shooting, including a carjacking, although Mockford's car was not stolen.
The Belgian prosecutor's office said there was a 'judicial instruction' from Martine Quintin, the investigating judge, that meant they could give no 'explanation' and no detail about the killing, which a spokesman said was 'usual in such a serious murder investigation', the Telegraph reported.
A foreign office spokesman said: 'We can confirm the death of a British national in Brussels on October 14 and we are providing consular assistance.'
Mockford is understood to have worked for ExxonMobil since the 1970s and was head of marketing for interim technologies for ExxonMobil Chemicals, Europe, promoting new types of greener fuel.
Brought up in Leicestershire, he had moved abroad from Chichester some years ago, living in Belgium and Singapore.
A family member, who asked not to be named, told the newspaper they thought he had been killed in a professional hit.
A spokesman for ExxonMobil said: 'We are shocked by the tragic death of one of our employees on Sunday, October 14 in Brussels.'