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    Close to 300 cell phones found in prisons in 2017

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Some 297 cell phones smuggled into Belgian jails were seized in 2017, giving an average of one mobile phone confiscated for every 35 detainees, De Tijd reported on Friday. State security notes leaked by error last week by Justice Minister Koen Geens (Christian Democrat and Flemish party) revealed the existence of disfunctions in the management of people convicted for terrorism and radicalized detainees, some of whom managed to communicate in code with the outside.

    In answer to a question from New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) parliamentarian Koen Metsu, chair of the special parliamentary commission on terrorism, Geens said 297 phones were found in jails last year but none of them in the high-security wings known as DeRadex, where radicalized detainees judged most dangerous are kept. A mobile phone had been discovered there in 2016, the year in which the special wings were created.

    De Tijd said the DeRadex sections had only 22 detainees, while 447 individuals linked to terrorism were now in Belgian prisons.

    Maria Novak
    The Brussels Times