Ministers survive vote of no confidence

10th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

10 March 2006, BRUSSELS — Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx and Interior Minister Patrick Dewael survived a no-confidence motion in the Belgian Parliament on Thursday night.

10 March 2006

BRUSSELS — Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx and Interior Minister Patrick Dewael survived a no-confidence motion in the Belgian Parliament on Thursday night.

Opposition party Christian Democrat CD&V lodged the motion of no confidence in response to the controversial escape of Turkish militant Fehriye Erdal late last month.

However, MPs rejected the motion, giving both ministers breathing space until the police and intelligence service supervisory committees have completed their investigations into the scandal.

The Committee P and Committee I were both ordered on Thursday to investigate the circumstances around Erdal's escape. Their report must be completed within the next month.

Erdal disappeared on 27 February while under surveillance by the federal security service VS-SE.

She was then convicted in absentia by Brugge Court the next day of links to the Turkish militant group DHKP-C and sentenced to four years jail.

An international arrest warrant has been issued for her arrest, but it remains guesswork whether she is still in Belgium or has escaped abroad. Police and prosecution officers have placed the highest priority on her arrest.

Thursday night's debate comes after Dewael and Onkelinx refused to resign amid a barrage of parliamentary criticism earlier this week.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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