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Antwerp court will launch lockdown hearings in the fall

© Belga

A police court in Antwerp will hold three coronavirus hearings each week from this fall in order to process the volume of fines issued to offenders of the lockdown measures.

Antwerp’s police court will launch the hearings from 5 October, to deal with so-called corona offenders who challenge their fines and refuse to settle an out-of-court fine.

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A dedicated Covid-team put together in June is set to be put to work on the processing of some 10,881 offence reports, according to Het Nieuwsblad.

“Offenders are offered the option to pay an amicable settlement set at €250,” Antwerp’s public prosecutor said. “For business-owners and events or party organisers, the amicable settlement is of €750.”

A total of 8,979 offenders have already opted to pay the amicable settlement of €250, bringing in €2.24 million in revenue, while 165 traders opted to pay the settlement as well, amounting to €123,750 in fines.

Offenders who fail to respond to the initial fine will be contacted by mail and summoned to the court if they do not respond for a second time, with the costs of proceedings in court added up to their sanction if there is a conviction.

Courts in Mechelen and in Turnhout will also hold weekly coronavirus hearings which are set to be launched from the fall.

The Brussels Times