"There will be a fuss", Van der Steur warned about Teeven-deal

Ard van der Steur (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)Ard van der Steur (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)

"There will be a fuss", now Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice commented in a draft letter about the so-called Teeven-deal when he was still a parliamentarian in 2014. Van der Steur released the draft letter, on which he made 18 suggestions and crossed off several sentences, on Monday, ANP reports.

Then Minister Ivo Opstelten of Security and Justice sent the final letter to Parliament in June 2014. In it he states that the "receipt" that shows the amounts involved in the Teeven-deal can not be found. The Teeven-deal refers to a deal then prosecutor Fred Teeven made with drugs criminal Cees H. in the year 2000. This deal ultimately led to the resignation of both Opstelten and Teeven.

The draft of this letter shows exactly how much influence then parliamentarian Van der Steur had on what was said to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of parliament. And based on the many suggestions and crossings out, he had quite a bit.

It was already known that Van der Steur as parliamentarian was involved in how the Ministry communicated about the Teeven-deal. That already garnered criticism, since parliamentarians are supposed to check the government, not help compose letters that won't raise questions.

In the draft letter, Van der Steur crossed out the sentence that said "everything is being done" to find the receipt - he found that it "might be too positive", according to the Volkskrant. "Why not remove this?" was his comment to Opstelten saying that not being able to find the receipt was not a "satisfactory outcome" for him. It was also Van der Steur that advised Opstelten to call on "insufficient memory" in the matter. He also warned that this receipt will cause a fuss. "I am very unhappy about the fact that the prosecutor (Fred Teeven, ed) was not consulted. There will be a fuss".

While answering the 137 parliamentary questions that followed the Oosting committee's second report on the Teeven-deal, Van der Steur said that he should have been more aware of the role of scrutiny a parliamentarian is supposed to play. At the same time he pointed out that it is common that "there are contacts between ministries and parliament in important processes", according to NU.nl.

The Tweede Kamer will debate the second Oosting report - in which the committee concluded that there was no cover up surrounding the receipt, because the Ministry was in capacity not capable of pulling off a cover up - on Wednesday.