Prosecutors discuss combining of charges to get higher sentences for terrorists
Suspects of terrorist activities can receive higher sentences if charges of terrorism are combined with acts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide or other offences. To prosecute for all acts committed and achieve an accumulation of charges at national level, better cooperation and coordination between prosecutors with different competences is desirable. Currently, the prosecution of war criminals and terrorists in EU Member States can fall under the responsibility of various prosecutors. The accumulation of charges in this area was for the first time discussed by prosecutors during the 27th meeting of the Network for investigation and prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes (EU Genocide Network), held at Eurojust in The Hague on 6 and 7 November.
Eurojust’s President, Mr Ladislav Hamran, said: ‘The fight against terrorism is one of the main priorities for Eurojust. If a suspect is not only indicted for terrorist offences, but also tried for active involvement in war crimes or trafficking in human beings, the sentence can be higher, leading to more justice for victims and their loved ones. If we want justice done, we need optimal national coordination among prosecutors competent for different crime areas. Prosecutors need access to all sources of evidence, including evidence collected by UN bodies, military forces in the battlefield, non-governmental organisations and other partners.’
The Genocide Network provides a forum for practitioners to exchange information on ongoing cases and share expertise and best practice for the investigation and prosecution of perpetrators of core international crimes. The Genocide Network is also dedicated to raising awareness of the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, thus demonstrating the EU’s commitment to fighting impunity of suspected war criminals.