Belgium in discussion with Iraq on the sentencing of foreign jihadists
Saturday, 12 October 2019
A small group of European countries, including Belgium, are in discussions with the Iraqi authorities.
Foreign Affairs minister Didier Reynders told the House of Representatives’ Commission last week that they are discussing whether jihadists who have a European nationality could be tried in Iraq.
The federal government still believes Islamic state fighters should be tried as close as possible to where they committed their crimes. The minister said any change to that would have to go through Parliament as the government handles current affairs.
OCAM director Paul Van Tigchelt wants Belgian jihadists to be tried in Belgium. Many of them are in camps in north-east Syria, which are managed by Kurdish forces.
There are now concerns they might flee and disappear after the Turks invaded the region. Tigchelt told VRT It is better to expediate them if that is a possibility.
Reynders did not want to comment on Tigchelt’s statement. “I would presume it would be discussed by the National Security. OCAM is part of that, along with the government and other security and judicial services,” he said.