Belgium ponders appointing top terror cop

1st March 2005, Comments 0 comments

1 March 2005, BRUSSELS - Belgium could be set to appoint a public prosecutor solely charged with tackling terrorism cases, it emerged on Tuesday.

1 March 2005

BRUSSELS - Belgium could be set to appoint a public prosecutor solely charged with tackling terrorism cases, it emerged on Tuesday.

Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx wants to follow the example of countries like France, Spain and Germany which have specialised lawyers, rather than leaving the matter to generalised public prosecutors working in the regions.

At a press conference in Brussels, Onkelinx announced she would be introducing a legal proposal on the issue, which would spell out the role of the judicial and security services when it comes to investigating terrorism.

Her proposals would see terrorism investigated at a national rather than a regional level.

"Up until now, the only cases which automatically go to the federal court are those concerned with crimes against humanity," explained federal prosecutor Daniel Bernard.

Onkelinx also intends to allow the state security services to tap phone calls and trace phone numbers without permission from a magistrate.

The army's information service is already allowed to listen in to calls outside Belgium without going through the courts.

Twenty-three people are currently in custody in Belgium for terrorism-related crimes.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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