Teeven debate ends with a whimper

Fred Teeven
State Secretary Teeven is seriously threatened

State secretary for Justice, Fred Teeven (VVD) has gotten away with the deal he made in his earlier function as public prosecutor with drug baron Cees H. 

Coalition parties PvdA and the VVD are saying that he played by the rules, while opposition parties don't feel their questions have been answered.

Teeven's secret deal with H., experienced public confusion and outrage after Nieuwsuur made the suggestion that Teeven was helping criminals whitewash money. This is because the Tax Administration was not aware of the deal. Various MPs called for clarity on the incident.

The deal was arranged so that condemned criminal H. would have to pay the state a sum of 750,000 guilders in fines, but could get his hands back on money in an account in Luxembourg, which he could transfer to a Dutch account. Early reports stated this money to be between five and six million guilders, but Opstelten says that this was two million guilders.

Now it seems that the board of general prosecutors, the leaders of the Public Prosecution Authority (OM), was indeed aware of the deal, as well as Parliament. According to minister of Justice, Ivo Opstelden (VVD), the deal was closed because the outcome of a possible court case would be unsure anyways. He also says that it was never proved that the H.'s money was criminally acquired.

Opstelten says that the OM was not lawfully obliged to actively inform the Tax Administration in 2000, at the time of the deal. The board of general prosecutors could veer from the one directive that advised the informing of the Tax Administration.

Several MPs complained about Teeven's escape, including D66 member Magda Berndsen. Minister Ivo Opstelten will not share all the information with Parliament, because come crucial pieces are confidential.

Parliament will vote on Tuesday about a motion to get more answers. Most opposition parties are demanding more information about under what conditions the deal was made. It remains unclear if Helman had to do something in exchange for the deal.

PvdA, VVD, SGP and the one-man party of Louis Bontes think that the issue is squashed with this debate.