Better protection for victims of crime abroad

25 October 2011

A new N-VA bill gives Belgian authorities the chance to guarantee victim and family the full protection of the Belgian legal system. Belgian judicial authorities will be authorised to prosecute and bring to court cases of terrorism and violence against Belgians abroad, even if the perpetrator is not in Belgium. This makes it possible to issue an international arrest warrant and the perpetrators can even be sentenced to prison and ordered to pay compensation in absentia. This is a big stick for our judicial authorities. Until now, victims of robbery with murder, kidnapping or terrorism often had the impression that they were being left to their fate. The local authorities abroad often did nothing with the case and gave out very little information. The new bill is designed to change all that. Even if the perpetrator is a foreigner who lives abroad, Belgium will still be able to bring criminal proceedings against him or her. At least if the victim is Belgian and the perpetrator has committed a serious violent crime, such as murder or kidnapping.

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