Vlaams Belang calls for resignation of Minister of Justice Koen Geens
Share article:
Share article:

Vlaams Belang calls for resignation of Minister of Justice Koen Geens

© Belga
© Belga

Federal Minister for Justice, Koen Geens (CD&V), faces criticism from opposition parties as well as from within the government for the fact that Julie Van Espen’s murderer was not in prison after his previous rape convictions. According to Groen, too much money has been saved on a crucial department, and sexual offenders must be followed-up on more. Vlaams Belang goes one step further and wants Geens to resign.

Groen wants to “conduct the debate serenely, but also ask the right questions and learn from this,” the party said after the murder.

“The number of sexual crimes in Belgium is higher than average and there are very few convictions,” said justice specialist Stefaan Van Hecke and member of Groen to Het Laatste Nieuws. He complains that waiting times are increasing due to savings, but he also points to “a known mentality problem and a lack of follow-up of sexual offenders”.

This morning, press magistrate Jo Daenen denounced the savings at the Ministry of Justice. “Due to savings and staff shortages, a fewer number of judges have to handle the same number of appeals. The lead time has therefore become longer,” Daenen said on Radio 1.

Groen calls for a different mentality in addition to more resources. “The problem of sexual crimes is not taken seriously enough,” Van Hecke said. “In the majority of cases no report is made and the perpetrator remains unpunished. That is why the threshold for reporting has to be lowered and carefully followed-up by the police. The prosecution of rape has to become a priority.”

Groen argues for a cross-party approach, also to follow up on sex offenders much longer and more intensively. “Progress can only be made quickly by working together. The next minister for Justice will have to do better. We must do everything we can to ensure that this does not happen again,” concluded Van Hecke.

Vlaams Belang is calling for the resignation of minister Geens, while Filip Dewinter, member of the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium, argues plainly for the reintroduction of the death penalty.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Mandatory vaccine for carers: employers call for sanctions
In a notice submitted by the National Council for Work (CNT), employers have called for heavy penalties for healthcare workers who refuse to receive ...
Police pension protest blocks several Brussels crossroads
On Wednesday, around 350 police officers expressed their dissatisfaction about the unclear pension scheme, low salaries and politicised police unions ...
Belgium in Brief: A Consultative Committee Sequel
Sequels often have a lot to live up to and when it comes to movie franchises, it gets difficult to keep up the hype once you get towards the final ...
25 years ago today: 300,000 people marched in white against child abuse
On this day 25 years ago, over 300,000 people marched in Brussels to demand a more effective justice system and to support the families of Julie, ...
Windy weather forecast should lower gas prices
After weeks of relatively calm conditions, a return to windy weather should lower Europe's soaring energy prices. Wind turbines in the UK and Germany ...
EC calls on candidate countries to focus on fundamental reforms before they can join the EU
The Commission adopted yesterday its 2021 Enlargement Package, providing a detailed assessment of the state of play and the progress made by the ...
Cigarette-eating robot patrols Ghent streets to fight littering
A litter fighting (and eating) robot will be patrolling the streets of Ghent in the coming weeks in an effort to raise awareness of the growing ...
Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...
Brussels Airport becomes shareholder in SkeyDrone
The Brussels Airport company has signed an agreement to become a 50 percent shareholder in SkeyDrone, a subsidiary of skeyes, the Belgian Air ...
Two former Belgian top executives plead guilty to bid manipulation in the US
Two former Belgian top executives of the security company G4S have pleaded guilty in the US to bid rigging, according to reporting from De Tijd. ...
8 arrested in Belgium and Luxembourg for fraud and social dumping
On Tuesday, around 80 police investigators and 26 social investigators made a series of simultaneous arrests in Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg as part ...
More than 5,500 people took part in the citizens’ consultation on road safety
Over 5,500 people took part in a citizens’ consultation on road safety for Belgium between July and October, according to Belga News Agency. The ...