Onkelinx ‘to blame’ for death of step-sisters
6 July 2006
BRUSSELS — Christian Democrat CD&V MP Tony Van Parys has blamed Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx for the deaths of step-sisters Stacy and Nathalie.
Van Parys said it is unacceptable that a long planned observation centre — which would improve the ability of justice authorities to assess whether convicted offenders would commit repeat crimes — is not yet operational.
“Your responsibility is exceptionally great,” Van Parys, himself a former justice minister, said in the Belgian Parliament on Wednesday.
“You propose now to release detainees first on probation and to reform the commission for the protection of society, but that was already proposed in 1997.
“If you and your government had put these recommendations into practice, this man [meaning suspect Abdallah Ait Oud] would not have been released.
“People would have then come to the understanding that this was an irresponsible risk. I also don’t understand why you are still refusing to set up the observation centre for detainees.”
Suspect Ait Oud is a convicted sex offender, but was later paroled from prison. He denies any involvement in the murders, but remains a suspect in the case
Onkelinx reacted with shock to Van Parys’ criticism, pointing out that the government had opted to tighten present procedures.
“With the measures we are now taking, we are largely achieving the same aim of the observation centre,” the Socialist PS minister said.
Besides her earlier proposals of probationary release and reforms to the commission for the protection of society, Onkelinx promised MPs she would work on new measures over the summer months in a bid to prevent a similar tragedy.
She said sexual offenders who are paroled will need to report back to justice authorities once a week starting in 2007. Trial projects will also be established in jails allowing 100 sex offenders to undergo treatment.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news