Justice Min. wants to take DNA from suspects before conviction

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Giving a DNA sample (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Michael Starkey). Giving a DNA sample (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Michael Starkey)

Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security is considering taking DNA samples from some suspects before they are convicted. This almost always involves suspects with no known address, or with an address abroad, the Minister wrote in a letter to parliament, NOS reports.

Anyone convicted of a serious crime is called to give a DNA sample for the Public Prosecutor's database. Those who do not show up, are tracked down. But this often proves to be difficult with convicts that do not have a known address, Grapperhaus wrote. He is therefore looking at possibilities of taking DNA from these suspects when they are detained.

Last month Nieuwsuur revealed that the Prosecutor's database is missing the DNA profiles of over 20 thousand convicts.

Taking DNA from suspects who have not yet been convicted is a legally sensitive issue, and may be in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. But the problem of the missing DNA profiles is urgent and Grapperhaus therefore wants to work on this.

Grapperhaus does not want to change the law until the evaluation on the current law is done. The results of that evaluation are expected in April next year. Until then the Minister will investigate the possibilities. "If this is to be successful and legally sustainable, all processes must be well thought through", he wrote. 

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