"Racism case may go to European Court"

12th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

12 October 2007 , BRUSSELS - Paul Vandemeulebroecke, the lawyer of Hans Van Themsche, may well take the case to the European Court for Human Rights. He said this in the TV programme 'Terzake'. The lawyer will probably not go to the Court of Cassation. There he would only be able to contest the case on the grounds of procedural errors.

 


12 October 2007

BRUSSELS -  Paul Vandemeulebroecke, the lawyer of Hans Van Themsche, may well take the case to the European Court for Human Rights. He said this in the TV programme 'Terzake'. The lawyer will probably not go to the Court of Cassation. There he would only be able to contest the case on the grounds of procedural errors.

Nevertheless, Vandemeulebroecke said "he will not fail to consult with other legal bodies".
He may well go to the European Court for Human Rights. "Other controversial cases in Belgium have been taken there in the past", said the lawyer.

Vandemeulebroucke feels that his client was already tried and convicted on the streets before the case ever reached the court. Neither does he agree with the verdict of the jury, which saw racism as van Themsche’s motive.

"For racism you need an emotion of hate or envy" he said. "I have seen absolutely no sign of emotion from van Themsche".

Van Themsche’s lawyers are full of praise for his composure during the hearings. How long is a life sentence? In theory,  Hans Van Themsche, who was given a life sentence by the criminal court in Antwerp, would spend thirty years behind bars.

He could be released after serving a third of the sentence. If reduced by one year of pre-trial detention, he could be free after 9 years. It is extremely unlikely that this will be the case as there are a number of factors which could go against him.

Sooner or later, Van Themsche will have to face a penal court which will then decide on a possible early release.

At such a moment, the impact of his crime on society and his psychiatric report will work against him. The prosecution report and the defence report both point out that he is very likely to strike again. There is even a 98 percent chance that this would happen.

Bart Herman, one of Van Themsche’s lawyers, doubts if his client will ever get an early release. "In such a case we should have few illusions," he said.


[Copyright: Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Belgian news

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