SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Hundreds of foreign criminals avoid sitting out their full jail sentence by opting to return to their country of origin instead, the AD reported on Wednesday.
The early release ruling, which dates from 2012, gives foreign criminals their freedom after completing at least half of their sentence on condition they leave the country. The ruling hit the headlines earlier this year when a Polish driver who killed a two-year old girl and her grandparents made use of the deal.
The sentence, 15 months, caused outrage, especially when the man was freed after nine months to see his pregnant girlfriend in Poland. Junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff (VVD) promised to review the ruling to take in the interests of the victims and their families but said a review will not be on the cards before January 2018.
According to justice ministry figures, some 800 criminal foreigners were released early in 2015 and 2016. So far the figure for this year is over 200. The ruling includes crimes which carry sentences of more than three years, the paper says, but the ministry has no information about the specific crimes committed.
Albanian, Surinamese and Polish nationals are among the foreign criminals who most often return to their native countries under the ruling. Criminals who later return to the Netherlands go back to prison to serve the rest of their sentence.
The AD found that almost half of criminals opt for the ruling themselves which, the paper says, invalidates the ministry of justice’s boast that it is often successful deporting foreign criminals. (DutchNews)