Brussels shooting: College of Prosecutors angered by criticism of judge

The College of Attorneys General has written a letter to Justice minister Paul Van Tigchelt (Open VLD) in which it denounces the "unrelenting attacks" on the Brussels magistrate who failed to process the extradition request for the Tunisian perpetrator of the terrorist attack in Brussels. La Libre Belgique reported this on Friday.

On 16 October, Abdesalem Lassoued killed two Swedes in the city centre of Brussels. A few days later, it became evident that Tunisia had requested his extradition a year earlier. The magistrate did not act on that extradition request, it transpired.

The College of Attorneys General, in a letter dated 30 October, complains about former Justice minister Vincent Van Quickenborne's statements during a press conference on 20 October, in which he announced his resignation. During the conference, Van Quickenborne pointed out an "individual, monumental and unacceptable mistake with dramatic consequences" by an "individual magistrate."

Targeted and relentless attacks

According to the College, these statements set the tone for "targeted and relentless attacks on a magistrate from the Brussels prosecutor's office, whose photo and identity have even been published".

Van Tigchelt, who succeeded Van Quickenborne as Justice minister on 22 October, is criticised for not mitigating these "ad hominem attacks" when he was questioned in the Chamber on 25 October. The minister said, among other things, that the oversight was not due to a lack of resources and personnel at the Brussels prosecutor's office.

"Our employees need better support in their work, including improved control systems"

According to the College, these accusations have caused "significant concern" among magistrates and staff. It requested Van Tigchelt to express his trust in the public prosecution service. In response, Van Tigchelt said that "our employees need better support in their work, including improved control systems".



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