Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Who should try this case?

A U.S. naval officer is suspected of having murdered his civilian wife by defenestrating her in Mons, Belgium. Should the U.S. exercise primary jurisdiction under the NATO Status of Forces Agreement, or should Belgium try the case? This article by Carl Prine in the San Diego Union-Tribune gives details. Unlike forum choices in the United States as between military and civilian forums, there are substantial, basic differences between Belgian criminal procedure and U.S. military procedure. According to the suspect's Belgian attorney:
Belgian courts lack a speedy trial and there's no right to a trial by jury. Defendants can't confront or cross-examine witnesses or contest hearsay testimony. The judge has requested that witnesses be hypnotized to try to recover memories.

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