Political battle over militant's escape ends
20 April 2006, BRUSSELS — An end appears to have come to the political slanging match over the disappearance of Turkish militant Fehriye Erdal.
20 April 2006
BRUSSELS — An end appears to have come to the political slanging match over the disappearance of Turkish militant Fehriye Erdal.
A majority of MPs voted against a motion on Thursday from opposition MPs, who claimed that the relevant government ministers were to blame for Erdal's escape.
Erdal escaped on 27 February on the eve of her conviction of links to the Turkish militant group DHKP-C. She was under security service surveillance at the time of her escape.
Interior Minister Patrick Dewael and Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx explained their version of events to MPs again on Thursday, stressing that they were not at fault.
The political name-calling came as MPs debated the investigative reports drawn up by the Committee I and Committee P, which respectively supervise the Belgium's intelligence services and police force.
The committee officially presented their final reports to the Parliament on Wednesday and said the federal government could have placed Erdal under preventative arrest prior to her escape.
The opposition then reacted with anger at Thursday's vote, with Christian Democrat CD&V MP Tony Van Parys spitting out: "A minister in a normal democracy would resign over this".
Van Parys said further that the security service VS-SE had warned several times that Erdal might try and escape. He said the government had failed to take the legal means at its disposal.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news