Wednesday, 14 May 2014 - 09:52
'Class Justice' argued against ex-PM in nuclear weapons case
Ex-Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers sent letters to Representatives as well as the Department of Justice, pleading he not be prosecuted for outing state secrets about an underground stash of US nuclear weapons at an air base in Volkel. RTL Nieuws reports that it tried to obtain confidential documents about the incident. Pieter Klein served the Public Prosecution Authority (OM) with a request for the documents on grounds of the openness of government Law (Wob). Most of these documents remained secret, but RTL did discover that Lubbers sent around various letters, directed to the so-called Secretive-commission of Parliament, which concerns activities of the intelligence and security services, and Herman Bolhaar, president of the general prosecutors Council. The story came out in June 2013, when Lubbers accidentally outed that there are 22 atom bombs lying in the underground safes of the Volkel air base. He said that he never would have thought that "those daft things" were still lying there. Ex-Prime Minister Van Agt consequently confirmed Lubbers' story. The question of nuclear weapons presence in the Netherlands is a state secret. This is the reason why the OM started investigations into the necessity to prosecute Lubbers and Van Agt. In October, the OM concluded that this would not happen. Precisely in the vein of state secrecy, the OM could not follow up the authenticity of the claim. According to RTL, Lubbers sent his letters to try and influence the OM's decision, which seems to have worked. RTL criticizes the OM for exercising 'class justice', letting Lubbers and Van Agt off the hook while regular citizens would no doubt have been prosecuted according to the Law. RTL also concludes that the OM investigation against the ex-PMs meant very little, and that authority works by postponing, and hoping that the furor peters away while the public's attention focuses on new issues, which Parliament accepts. The Wob-request by RTL has been largely dismissed, even after an objection procedure. The contents of Lubbers' letters remain secret. RTL is considering going into further procedures with the OM to obtain the documents and make them public.