Ex-Justice Sec: Fmr. Minister knew about drug dealer payoff

Teeven resignation
Justice and Security Secretary Fred Teeven announces his resignation, Mar. 10, 2015 photo: Rijksoverheid

Former Minister of Security and Justice Ivo Opstelten was well aware that the deal made with drug dealer Cees Helman in 2001 involved 4.7 million guilders, Fred Teeven, the former State Secretary of Security and Justice, said in an interview with Het Parool on Tuesday.

Teeven told the newspaper that he reported the actual amount of the deal in a conversation with the ministry's Director General. "But Ivo deliberately chose not to use my reminder", Teeven said, calling it the "wrong choice".

Both Teeven and Opstelten resigned in March after it came to light that Opstelten had misinformed the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, about the deal closed with Cees Helman in 2001. Opstelten claimed that the amount involved in the deal was 1.25 million guilders and that the receipts of the deal were missing. It then turned out that the deal actually involved 4.7 million guilders and that the receipts could be found after all.

The Tweede Kamer, led by the D66, CDA and ChristenUnie, now wants clarification from Prime Minister Mark Rutte on this matter. "We debated on this for eight hours and I would now like to know what the rest of the government knew about it. What did the Prime Minister know?" said Alexander Pechtold, D66 leader.

An independent commission will soon do an investigation into this deal.