Retrial after acquittal to become possible
February 29, 2008 Leave a Comment
Suspects who have been acquitted of a serious crime can in future be prosecuted again if new evidence emerges. Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin will draw up a draft bill this spring, he said in a letter to parliament.
It is not currently possible under any circumstances to prosecute suspects again for the same crime after they have definitively been acquitted of it. Conversely, it is possible for someone found guilty to get such a retrial – providing new evidence comes to light that was unknown at the time of the verdict. The Supreme Court decides whether this is the case.
The Lower House will likely support the proposal. The chairman of the Board of Attorneys General, Harm Brouwer, is also pleased with the minister’s step. He says new evidence emerges increasingly often against acquitted suspects. “Then you must have a legal instrument to get someone convicted after all in certain cases.” Brouwer stressed however that retrials of acquitted suspects must be restricted to very serious crimes, such as murder and rape.
Source: NIS News, 29 February 2008