Speaking at the traditional opening of the judicial session, prosecutor-general Yves Liegeois (pictured) said leaks from within an investigation could threaten the presumption of innocence of an accused person, as well as threaten the progress of an investigation. He called for offenders to be dismissed and for magistrates to be given the power to put taps on the phones of anyone suspected of leaking to the press. Anyone found guilty should be liable for a sentence of up to five years instead of the current six months, Liegeois said.
Turtelboom said she was also concerned by press leaks but that her government was “not going to increase the number of prison cells just to ease the internal problems of the justice system”. Leaks by magistrates were an internal disciplinary matter for the judicial system itself, she said. Above all, judges and prosecutors needed to see the importance of better and clearer communication to make leaking unnecessary.