Wednesday, 8 January 2014 - 21:43
Former politician Van Rey suspected of vote seeking
Accusations of former VVD councilor and senator, Jos van Rey, from Roermond are piling up. Wednesday, it was announced that the Public Prosecutor is also investigating whether he has actively recruiting votes for elections. The Prosecution also suspects the former Limburg politician of vote-buying for elections to the House, the City council, and the Provincial Council. In a raid at the home of Van Rey in 2012, the State Prosecution found a large number of copies of proxy forms. Van Rey reportedly recruited the votes along with other Roermond VVD members. A review: On October 1st, 2011, the local newspapers accused Roermond Alderman Van Rey of apparent conflict of interest. He had a deciding vote in issues that concerned developer Piet van Pol, who is a friend. Mayor Henk van Beers initiated an investigation into the integrity alderman on October 3rd. On March 19, 2012, the study by researcher and former minister Winnie Sorgdrager, showed that the appearance of a conflict of interest was fueled by Van Rey's friendship with the developer, but an actual conflict of interest was out of the question. On April 6th the Roermond council ruled Van Rey could stay. However, the National Police raided Van Rey's office in the Town Hall on October 19. The Prosecution suspected him of corruption and leaking of information concerning the procedure for the new mayor of Roermond. The nominated VVD member, Ricardo Offermanns, was also a suspect. On October 22 Van Rey stepped down as a councilor and senator. Offermanns stepped down as mayor of Meerssen and withdrew as candidate for mayor of Roermond. On January 29, 2013 the police investigated developer Piet Pol. He was suspected of paying bribes to friend Jos van Rey. Van Rey attacked the prosecution on June 1st, accusing the justice department in the media of raging like a rampaging mob. He suspected a political assassination. On July 13 the local newspapers discovered that Jos van Rey was also suspected of money laundering. The affair created a rift in the Roermond VVD and on September 16 prominent members began the new Liberal Party, with Jos van Rey as their leader. Ricardo Offermanns was sentenced to 120 hours community service on December 5th, after it became clear from a tapped telephone conversation that he had received information about the mayor's appointment in Roermond by Jos van Rey. Limburg media report on Wednesday, January 8, that the Prosecution is investigating reports that Jos van Rey may have recruited votes for the Provincial Council elections.