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Less than 10% of foreign-convicted Belgians serve time at home

08:33 10/02/2014

During the past five years, just 32 Belgian nationals who had been given jail sentences by foreign courts have been returned to Belgium to serve their sentences here. This is less than 10% of the 388 who had asked to be repatriated. Of those repatriation requests, 311 were rejected, 32 accepted and 45 are still being processed.

The figures come from the federal justice Minister Annemie Turtelboom in response to a parliamentary question.

Currently, 456 Belgians are doing time in foreign prisons. Requests were refused for different reasons: the possibility of the convict being pardoned if sent back, lack of space in Belgian prisons, the prisoner had been abroad for a long time before being sent to prison or sending the prisoner back to Belgium could not be justified on the grounds of family ties, etc.

Senator Karl Vanlouwe responded that he is in favour of enforceable treaties that will make it possible for foreigners serving time in Belgian jails to serve their sentences in their home countries and vice-versa.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Viewminder

Written by Kelly Hendricks