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Opinion - Carine Knapen

" We must let the courts do their job " and " everyone should keep quiet until the investigation is complete ". We read these statements remarkably often in the press during this cucumber era.

However, this instruction applies only to the people. Not to the press.

Here we have a situation where the press reports daily on the rumors, reports and criminal charges against Conner Rousseau. They light the fuse, they are not silent, they do not wait. They bring every scoop they can get their hands on and headline the news in bold letters, but we, the people, are not allowed to say anything about it. We must remain silent. We must await the outcome.

Under the law, everyone is innocent until proven guilty ( read : until finally convicted by a court and no recourse is left open ). That is how it is or at least that is how it should be. But that is not how it is.

Let's throw this cesspool wide open.

Bart De Pauw. Condemned by the press before any trial. Totally destroyed. Guy Van Sande. Ditto. Burnt for good.

I could go on and on. The list of persons ( ordinary people, artists, clerics and politicians ) who have been totally destroyed by the press and public opinion before the criminal investigation was completed and they had to appear in court is so long that all the pages of FB would not suffice to fill them. What is much worse, however, is that a multitude of individuals have been slaughtered so harshly by the press that the punishment they may or may not have been given by the court pales into insignificance compared to the reputational damage caused by the press and is a lifelong " punishment " they take with them to their graves.

People do not even have to have committed a crime to suffer the same fate. The list of people who have been dragged through the mud by the press is uncountable. The press is allowed to do that. But we, the people, must remain silent.

I fully agree with the statements made above but for everyone. Also for the press.

Should we let the court do its job and await the outcome of the investigation ? Good. Then the press should remain silent and not report on it. Not only in the case of Conner Rousseau, but always and in all circumstances. If the press remains silent, the smear campaign will be a lot less. They are the ones systematically throwing oil on the fire.

And as far as justice is concerned : the counters need to be set right there too. Closing reports without any investigation because one person thinks there are "no facts" and taking decisions on unilateral petitions without any contradictory debate where in a number of cases the extreme urgency ex art.584 Ger.Wb is not present, shows class justice where some get everything done and others get nothing.

This conundrum is a good era for reflection.

Trust in the rule of law, justice and politics is visibly sinking below freezing point.

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