Dutch PM's advisers accused of knowing details of controversial drug dealer payoff
Before the receipt showing the amount involved in a deal made in 2001 between then Prosecutor Fred Teeven and drug criminal Cees H., an email was sent to at least four officials working closely with Prime Minister Mark Rutte that showed the correct amount involved in the deal, Nieuwsuur reporter Bas Haan revealed on Monday, the Volkskrant reports.
This is Haan's umpteenth revelation regarding the so-called Teeven deal. His previous revelation - that fmr. Justice Minister Ard van der Steur withheld vital information about the deal from parliament when he was still a parliamentarian - led to Van der Steur's resignation last month.
On Monday Haan revealed the names of four people he is certain received an email with the exact amount involved in the Teeven-deal. They are Rutte's adviser at the Ministry of General Affairs, Deputy Secretary-General Bart van Poelgeest, Rutte's political assistant Sophie Hermans and Stephan Schrover, head of government information service Rijksvoorlichtingdienst, the Volkskrant reports.
The email was sent on March 8th, 2015, a few days before the deal's receipt was found. It contained concept answers that then Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten intended to give to parliamentary questions. Most of the answers were based on what Teeven could remember about the deal. The answers also show that parliament could have had the exact amount of the deal much earlier if it was decided to share Teeven's recollections.
All four people who definitely received the email, according to Haan, work closely with Rutte. It seems that the Prime Minister, who always maintained that he did not know the amount before the receipt was found, will again have to explain how he did not know. At least he will have to acknowledge that he could have and should have known the amount, according to Haan.
"Rutte's assertion that he never heard it is at least remarkable", Haan said, according to the newspaper. Especially since Hermans, as Rutte's political assistant, has the main task of advising and guiding Rutte in political sensitive situations.