Brussels attacks – political pressure still immense, Geens acknowledges, upon returning to parliamentary committees
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    Brussels attacks – political pressure still immense, Geens acknowledges, upon returning to parliamentary committees

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Political pressure remains immense, in view of recent elements of the investigation, Koen Geens, the Justice Minister has acknowledged today (Friday). He is, this afternoon, returning to the parliamentary committees to provide clarification.

    The CD&V (Flemish Christian Democrat) Minister, along with his colleague, the Minister for the Interior, Jan Jambon (New Flemish Alliance), had offered on Wednesday evening to resign. This was owing to potential flaws in both the justice and police services in terrorist-related investigations, but Geens remained in post “as the Prime Minister believes it to be the best option for both the country’s stability and that of the government”, Geens confirmed when arriving at the Prime Minister’s daily cabinet meeting.

    “This left me with a feeling of detachment”, added Mr Geens, when questioned upon his discomfort. “By this I mean, that it is not about me but the future of our country and the stability of our government. That is the only reason why we have reacted in such a way.”

    “There is enormous political pressure,” he acknowledged, when questioned upon certain facts which, at the time of writing, had in recent hours, come to light. However, the Minister will return to report to the preparatory parliamentary investigative committee, as well as other anticipated committees, from this Friday. “We will be able to respond better this afternoon,” he assured.

    Today it has come to light in the press that the so-called Committee P had opened an investigation into the fact that Malines police information, relating to Salah Abdeslam’s address in Molenbeek, had been known in a report, since the beginning of December. However, this had never, been transmitted to the anti-terrorism section of the Brussels federal police.

    At 2.00 p.m, a meeting of Joint Committees for Justice, Interior and Foreign Affairs will take place in the Chamber of Representatives.

    Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)