Lie detector gains ground

The use of the lie detector in judicial investigations in Belgium has reached a new record high. Last year a lie detector was used on 508 occasions. Ten years earlier the device was only used 60 times.

The figures come from Belgian Justice Minister Annemie Turtelboom (Flemish liberal).

In 98% of cases the account of a suspect was checked. Only very rarely was a lie detector used to corroborate the words of a victim.

In 192 instances evidence was deemed to be truthful. In 74 cases little credence was given to a testimony. In 31 instances no clear conclusion could be drawn.

The results of a lie detector test won't get you convicted in Belgium, but the evidence can add weight to other pointers that indicate guilt or innocence and open new routes of investigation for Belgian detectives.