BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Fernand Spaak, son of former NATO chief Paul-Henri Spaak, was shot to death by his wife, who committed suicide by plunging an electric iron into a water-filled bathtub, the Belgian chief prosecutor said today.
'There is no evidence to invalidate the conclusion of the investigation so far that Mr. Spaak was shot with a hunting rifle by his wife, who then committed suicide by electrocuting herself in a bathtub,' Jean-Louis Dierckx de Casterle said.
He said Anna Maria Farina Spaak had threatened 'both verbally and in writing' to kill her husband. The couple had been living apart for some time.
'The hypothesis that Mr.Spaak might have committed suicide is contradicted by the fact the rifle used to shoot him had been put back into its holster,' the prosecutor said.
One European Economic Community official said 'obviously a terrible family drama' was at the root of the deaths that came as Spaak was preparing to go to Canada to attend the economic summit meeting.
Spaak's father was former Belgian premier and secretary-general of NATO from 1957 to 1961. The slain man was chief aide to European Economic Community Executive Commmision President Gaston Thorn.
Spaak's death was discovered late Saturday by their son-in-law in their fifth floor apartment off Brussels' fashionable Avenue Louise. Police promptly sealed the apartment and clamped an information blackout on the case. Police sources said there apparently were no witnesses.
A lawyer who studied at Cambridge University, Spaak entered the European Community administration in 1952 as chief of Cabinet to Jean Monnet, then president of the Coal and Steel Community High Authority.
Before joining Thorn's Cabinet, he was the commission's representative in the United States from 1976 to 1980.