Grapperhaus wants tougher penalties for threat toga carriers

The Cabinet wants threats to judges, prosecutors and lawyers to be punished more severely from now on. Minister Grapperhaus wants a maximum term of imprisonment of four years. He had previously announced that he also wanted to increase the penalty for threatening mayors, aldermen and deputies to four years.

Both of these proposals are contained in a draft law containing all kinds of measures against undermining crime. Now the maximum penalty for threats is two years.

Grapperhaus stresses that so-called toga carriers play an indispensable role in the rule of law and that their functions are crucial for fair, independent and impartial justice. With the increase, the Minister wants to underline that judges, prosecutors and lawyers must be able to carry out their work in freedom and security and that any attempt to influence them through intimidation is unacceptable.

The plan follows the murder of the lawyer Derk Wiersum in September last year. The murder caused shock reactions, including at Minister Grapperhaus. He spoke of an attack on the rule of law.

Railway yards

Grapperhaus also wants to criminalise illegal residence on railway yards. He already wanted to regulate this for ports and airports, but now he is adding the railways. “Logistics hubs have a major attraction for organised crime; criminals penetrate secure areas in many ways in search of illegal goods, such as drugs,” says the Minister. This illegal stay is punishable by up to one year in prison. If there is intrusion, for example if someone is hiding in a company car to enter the premises, two years is also possible.

According to the bill, investigations into the assets of convicted criminals will also be possible in more cases. In practice, people who have been convicted now fail to pay a hefty fine or compensation when there are indications that they have money at their disposal.