Terrorism investigations: 1 in 6 results in subpoena

One out of every six terrorism investigations resulted in a subpoena last year. Lawmaker Carina Van Cauter claims that this is because there is sometimes a shortage of investigators, but also because some of those investigated prove to be minors.

Last year Belgian prosecutors opened 253 terrorism-related investigations. 41 were subpoenaed. The daily De Standaard reports that the figure is up on 2015 and 2013, but slightly down on 2014.

Carina Van Cauter would like the cases that are being subpoenaed to remain on record for investigators: "In practice a subpoena means the same as an acquittal. It should be clear to all investigators that an investigation has been carried out and why this resulted in a subpoena. This means that if new facts come to light, they can be put in context.

Justice minister Koen Geens says that it was precisely for this reason that he established local teams to follow people with a record, but also people without a record or who no longer have one.