Top Judge: Unacceptable Waiting-lists for Criminal Cases
THE HAGUE, 29/10/13 - Thousands of criminal cases remain on the shelf due to lack of capacity. There is no time for cases such as rapes and assaults, says Leendert Verheij, president of the appeal court in The Hague, on RTL Nieuws.
"Victims and suspects must wait an unacceptably long time for their court case,” says Verheij. He says that both at the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the courts, the waiting lists are rising. “Then you are talking about hundreds of cases.”
The waiting lists are to blame among other things on cutbacks by the cabinet, according to Verheij. “Jurisprudence is a core task of the government. You cannot ask of jurisprudence that you do at least the same and even more for less money. And that applies just as much to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
"For the suspect, the case hangs like a sword of Damocles over his head. And for victims, it is extremely taxing to have to wait for this case and not know where you are going.”
Research by RTL Nieuws also shows that organisational chaos reigns at the public prosecutor’s office. Districts have been merged, and this is not going well throughout the country. Verheij: “Dossiers are incomplete or are delivered too late.” As an example, he names expert reports or witness reports that are not in the files. This means delays, he says, “and naturally also a bit of irritation.”