Grapperhaus does not want make corpse desecration punishable by law
Various MPs and experts want corpse desecration or sexual abuse of the deceased to be punishable by law in the Netherlands. But despite requests from a chief public prosecutor and three relatives of a victim, Minister Grapperhaus of Justice and Security refuses to change the law in this area, national newspaper de Volkskrant writes.
The newspaper tells the story of three sisters whose deceased mother was abused by an 18-year-old mentally disabled boy. The police established that after a year-long investigation. However, even after a confession, it turns out to be impossible to prosecute him for the "fornication" with their mother's body.
In a letter to the relatives, Grapperhaus calls the case "inhumane" and "shocking for society as a whole". Nevertheless, he argues that these would be a "very limited number of cases" and that the perpetrators could usually also be punished for murder or manslaughter.
According to Grapperhaus' spokesperson, there are also other criminal law approaches to address this, such as "destruction", "grave robbery", or other articles of law that criminalize the excavation, destruction, or concealment of corpses.
House wants clarification
Members of Parliament from several parties including D66, GroenLinks, PvdA, SP, and SGP also think that the law should be amended and want clarification from Grapperhaus. MPs Kees van der Staaij (SGP), Kathalijne Buitenweg (GroenLinks), Attje Kuiken (PvdA) and Michiel van Nispen (SP) say they want to ask parliamentary questions about this.
"It is undesirable that sexual abuse of a corpse is not punishable", VU professor of forensic psychiatry and psychology Jan Hendriks told the newspaper. "Offenders can be treated, but you need legislation for that. Many sexual offenders themselves do not know that they have a problem."
"This is indigestible"
Professor of forensic medicine and criminal law, Wilma Duijst of Maastricht University, agrees with Hendriks. "I know of few crimes that I think should be included in the criminal code," she says. "But about this I say; do it. Make a criminal offense. Correct this."
According to Duijst, the body deserves respect, "even after death". "This is ethically unacceptable. This is indigestible for next of kin." In neighboring countries, such as France and Germany, this is punishable. "This happens so secretly that it will not always be discovered. That is also because it is not punishable now."