Prosecutor appeals VVD political scandal prison term

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Paviljoen Welgelegen in Haarlem, home to the Provinciale Staten of Noord-Holland since 1930 (photo: Arch / Wikimedia)Paviljoen Welgelegen in Haarlem, home to the Provinciale Staten of Noord-Holland since 1930 (photo: Arch / Wikimedia)

The Prosecutor’s Office in Amsterdam is pushing forward with a demand for more prison time for former Noord-Holland provincial executive Ton Hooijmaijers. The Attorney General today in appellate court demanded four years for the VVD politician.

Hooijmaijers has been sentenced to three years for a corruptive acts between 2004 and 2009 while he served as counsel member for Noord Holland. He was found guilty of accepting bribes from project developers in return for favors, for producing a large number of fake invoices and for money laundering.

To receive the funds he used the bank accounts of his consultancy firm MOVE Consultants, that was registered in his wife’s name. He also used the company of a friend who was a realtor.

His wife P. and his friend Van de K. were also charged, but the wife was acquitted while Van de K. received a three month sentence.

The Prosecutor’s Office however argued today that a prison term should do justice to the nature of the crime committed. “Hooijmaijers swore an oath that he would act as an integer official. (Instead) he abused the power that came with the position of provincial executive.”

The prosecutor said at today's hearing that the former councilman damaged the reputation of the province Hoord Holland. “Our appeal focuses on the corruption and the money laundering. We are also not in agreement with the shorter early release Mr. Hooijmaijers was granted because of the media attention his case received," the prosecutor said.

He noted that while the bribers in question are also to blame as they tried to enrich themselves, that crime is still dwarfed by blemishing the integrity of Government.

The Prosecutor’s Office also appealed the sentences for Hooijmaijers' wife and realtor Van de K.

"His wife played a crucial role in shrouding the transactions and she profited from them willingly. So did the realtor. He made his company available to Mr Hooijmaijers and thus facilitated the fraud."

The prosecutor said that nonetheless lower prison terms would suffice. "Their charges weigh heavy, but they are not comparable to what Hooijmaijers can be accused of."

The Appellate Court will reads its final sentence on April 7.

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