Civil servants can be prosecuted

A majority of MPs now supports private legislation to make it possible for civil servants who fail to do their jobs to face criminal prosecution, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.


At the moment, government employees have immunity from prosecution if they deliberately break the law.
But now Christian Democrat MPs have sided with others to back a bill by Labour MP Aleid Wolfson which could put civil servants in the dock for failing to do their duties.
Civil service failures have led to a number of deaths in recent years but no-one was prosecuted because of the legal immunity.
In the 2000 Enschede fireworks disaster, 23 people were killed when an illegal fireworks store exploded. Safety regulations had been ignored.
Officials also failed to implement proper safety standards at the Schiphol airport detention centre where 11 people died in a fire in 2005.
Wolfson introduced his private members bill in April, but it failed to get enough support. Now, CDA MPs have thrown their weight behind it, the bill is backed by 80 out of 150 MPs and is set to become law, the Volkskrant says.

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