EU members reject criminal defence plans

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A large group of European Union countries, including the Netherlands, has spoken out against proposals to greatly expand the right of defendants in criminal cases to a lawyer.

They argue that criminal proceedings would be hampered and the costs of legal assistance would increase dramatically.

It’s estimated the changes would cost the Dutch state an extra 50 million euros a year in legal aid.

“I would rather spend that money on the victims” commented Dutch Deputy Justice Minister Fred Teeven after the debate in Brussels.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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