Drug dealer only winner in payoff scandal: Defense Minister

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)

According to VVD Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the only winner in the giant affair surrounding a deal then prosecutor Fred Teeven made with suspected drug trafficker Cees H. in 2001, is the drug dealer. "It's sad", she said to NOS. "Three Ministers already stepped down. Someone must be laughing loudly in his sleeve, and that is the criminal in question."

So far this deal led to the resignations of two Ministers and one State Secretary of Security and Justice and the resignation of the leader of the lower house of Dutch parliament. Ard van der Steur resigned as Minister on Thursday, after he was accused of keeping information about the Teeven deal from parliament. Ivo Opstelten and Fred Teeven resigned as Minister and State Secretary respectively in March 2015 when the amounts involved in the deal were revealed. And Anouchka van Miltenburg resigned later that year after it was revealed that she shredded two letters from a whistleblower about the deal. All four of them are members of the VVD.

Hennis is not the only VVD minister unhappy with the state of affairs. Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen of Infrastructure called it "really unjust" that Van der Steur had to resign. According to her, this whole affair hasn't been about the Teeven deal for a long time. "No one knows what the file is about. It's become a kind of political show." She called it especially sad for Van der Steur. "He didn't resign because he did not do well, but he just did not have the support anymore. I had hoped that he would get it. But it's election time. These things happen"

Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health would not say much to the broadcaster about the matter. "If someone decides for himself to resign, that is a fact. I have nothing for respect for that. Van der Steur is a valued colleague. I think this is a personal tragedy and a great loss."


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