French MPs vote to create anti-terror prosecutor

French MPs vote to create anti-terror prosecutor
Photo: Patrick Kovarik, AFP
French lawmakers on Monday approved the creation of a national prosector's office to combat terror, a key justice reform to boost the country's response to the threat of attacks.

Under the legislation, passed at the first reading on a show of hands, the Parquet National Antiterroriste (PNAT) will start operating no later than January 1, 2020.

Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet praised the planned new body as a “strike force” against the “ever-present” threat of terrorism, three years after France's deadliest attack claimed 130 lives in Paris.

The new prosecutor's office will have “institutional visibility” and “all the necessary capacity to form relationships on the European level”, Belloubet said.

Currently, the investigation of terrorism cases falls under the public prosecutor of Paris, which also deals with crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The PNAT will be the second specialised prosecuting office after one set up to combat financial crimes in 2013.


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