justice

  • september can result in big political and judicial chaos in Belgium

    There are two major investigations going on that can result in big political and judicial chaos in Belgium in september/october. Every day there are new developments in both of these investigations/scandals and the scope widens which means that the possible impact of those investigations/scandals deepens.

    1. Fortigate

    This is the investigations in who leaked the information to the lawyers of the government that the court was going to overturn a favorable decision for the government regarding the Fortis case. Some strange things were happening in the hours before the judgement was made public. Afterwards it became known that the cabinet of the minister of justice and the prime minister were informed one way or another about this judgement in the hours before. This was illegal and so the government fell and an investigative commission was set up.

    Meanwhile an investigation judge started his investigation using all the powers that the law give him and untill now he has found three new 'leakers'. It is unclear but probably that the minister of Finance now (and at the time) may also have been informed before. Which is illegal. It is also clear that one of the highest judges of Belgium has also leaked this information. If this is the case it will be difficult not to sanction him also as the politicians find that they are untill now the only ones who have paid a price. It will be interesting to see if the independent justice department will bow under this pressure.

    2. The dirty war between a judge and the public prosecutor

    The top public prosecutor of Brussels (Audenaert) which is a public figure has sent a letter to the minister of Justice saying that the justice department didn't want to investigate the corruption charges against a top judge in Brussels, responsable for big cases like the Fortis case, Sabena and Sobelair between many others.

    It seems she has invested enormous lots of money into a failed african investment of her Brother (or a fraud) and has to pay that money back. She still got a top promotion even if she could be corrupted because of that. The charge goes that she wrote the decisions for some trials together with a lawyer of the parties in exchange for money.

    The lawyer and the judge immediately fought back and said that the whole case was the fabrication of the top public prosecutor to help his friends. It seems he has friends who lend them their yacht in France or meet him in the luxury resort Knokke but who also have been convicted by this judge and lawyer for fraud. The speciality of the lawyer is finding the black funds that enterpreneurs want to hide from their ex-spouses when the divorce battle begins (or should I say war). To make victory even more sweet, they don't only have to pay more to their ex-spouses but also have to pay taxes on all these funds and assets.

    It is clear that we haven't seen the end of this and that this could become a full out war between some judges and lawyers and some members of the Public prosecution. As both are leaking daily to the press, the public will lose every day some more confidence in the people it should trust.

    Because even if the system is broken, you can say that the people who work in it are trying to do their best. But if even they seem corrupt and only guided by self-intrest, what else rests

    If the judge is found guilty the Belgian state will have to pay millions of Euro's because many of her big and small judgments will be nullified.