Ex-NS boss wants Finance Min. Dijsselbloem to testify in corruption case
Former NS CEO Timo Huges wants Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem of Finance to testify in the criminal case surrounding irregularities in the procurement of public transport in Limburg. According to Huges' lawyer Daan Doorenbos, Dijsselbloem has to explain "criminalizing statements" he made about the former CEO, the lawyer said in the court in Den Bosch on Tuesday, NU.nl reports.
NS Group and six other defendants, including Huges, are on trial accused of bribery and fraud in during the procurement of a public transport contract in Limburg.
According to Doorenbos, in June last year Dijsselbloem said that he is considering pressing charges against Huges. And in a debate in parliament in February this year, he accused Huges in definite terms. The lawyer quoted Dijsselbloem speaking in parliament on February 3rd: "In my opinion there were really serious abuses involving violations of the law and fraud." In saying this Dijsselbloem jumped ahead of the court and acted contrary to the fundamental principle that states that defendants are innocent until proven guilty.
The Public Prosecutor objected to the Finance Minister being called as witness. According to the Prosecutor, Dijsselbloem did not interfere with the criminal investigation and his testimony will add nothing to the trial. The court will rule on whether Dijsselbloem will testify on Thursday.