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Belgium to expand use of DNA databases in criminal investigations

Belgium approved a draft law to enable new DNA techniques to be used in criminal investigations by providing a legal framework for familial searches – the tracing of suspects through known DNA profiles of close family members.

Today, the national DNA databases (for convicted and missing people, suspects and traces) have some 120,000 unique DNA profiles. Belgium also has access to the DNA databases of 23 different countries, as laid down in the Prüm Treaty – involving several million profiles.

"Our DNA legislation is outdated," said Federal Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne in a press release. "There are new techniques that can force breakthroughs in investigations, but investigators come up against legal barriers. Therefore, with this bill, we provide a legal basis for identifying suspects via the DNA of their close relatives."


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