Thursday, May 26, 2016 - 08:43
Public Prosecutor urgently needs extra €40 mil. to keep functioning
The Public Prosecution Service is running out of money, chief executive prosecutor Herman Bolhaar writes in the Public Prosecutor's annual report. An additional 40 million euros per year is necessary for the Prosecutor just to keep functioning. More will be needed to cope with organized crime, corruption and the rapidly expanding cybercrime, ANP reports. Bolhaar is particularly concerned with the Public Prosecution Service's trouble in dealing with cybercrime. "Fraud, blackmail and threats are increasingly conducted online, for which the view on the seriousness and extent is lacking. Also the more society-disrupting, subversive crime lurks there: the dark web hides arms trade, drug transactions, money laundering operations and preparation for terrorism", he writes. The chief prosecutor calls for heavy investments in the service so that it can address new types of crimes and "really investigate what is going on". He also calls for long-term investigations to get to the root of the crimes. "We must not only respond to incidents." The annual report also discusses the many challenges the Public Prosecutor faced this past year and will in the future. As examples for 2015 Bolhaar talks about the process surrounding the Staatsliedenbuurt assassinations, which is currently in court. He also points to the so-called Context-case surrounding terrorism suspects, the Valkenburg teen prostitution case and the investigation into police officer Mark M. who allegedly leaked confidential police information to criminals. Last year was also challenging due to the shocking events surrounding Bart van U. and the Hoekstra-committees damming report on how the Public Prosecutor and others in the penal- and healthcare chain fell short in handling the case. Van U. was sentenced to institutionalized psychiatric care last month for murdering his sister Lois and former minister Els Borst. The Public Prosecutor's work also brings in necessary money for the national treasury. Last year a massive 144 million euros in criminal assets were confiscated. "It is a signal that the Public Prosecutor is on track in hitting criminals where it hurts most, namely their wallets."