There was a serious mistake in the new law on the most serious sex crimes against adults which was adopted by the Chamber last week.
The most serious crime covered by the law is rape of an adult resulting in death, which will now only be punishable for a maximum of 10 years after the event rather than 15. Le Soir and several other Flemish papers reported on the story on Saturday.
The mistake in the new law is the result of a serious oversight. The main objective was to make sure sexual crimes against minors no longer had a statute of limitation. But by choosing to adopt the bill, politicians also modified clauses in articles 21 and 21 b of the Penal Procedure Code, which placed a statute of 10 years on the crime of rape or sexual assault of an adult resulting in death (rather than 15).
Members of the Ecolo-Green party and in particular Zakia Khattabi (who will soon join the Constitutional Court) discovered the mistake. A proposal for a “patch law” will be submitted to the Chamber next week.