Prosecutor breaking rules by not taking serious crimes to court: report
Over the past years, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) imposed a penalty itself in dozens of serious sex- and violent crime cases instead of taking them to court. That is against the rules. The OM can only impose a penalty settlement for minor offenses, Trouw reports based on figures requested from the OM.
The OM imposed a penalty 45 times in the past five years for offenses with a maximum prison sentence of over six years. According to the rules, the OM can only do this for crimes with maximum prison sentences of less than six years. In these cases, the OM cannot impose a prison sentence but can impose community service or a fine. The idea is to relieve some workload from the courts.
The OM told Trouw that it would investigate how prosecutors imposed penalty settlements in 45 serious crime cases.
Last year, the OM handed out just under 85,000 penalty settlements, a significant increase compared to the 67,000 in 2020. The coronavirus crisis is partly to blame. The courts were busier than usual, resulting in more cases left with the OM. The OM expects this number will decrease in the coming years.