Convicted child molester contacts media from prison; parliamentary debate demanded

Vught prison
Vught prison. ( photo)Vught prison

Convicted child molester Robert M. managed to contact the media from his prison cell, the Volkskrant reported on Saturday. Following this report, the Tweede Kamer wants a debate on the supervision on the sex crime convict.

Robert M. was convicted of sexual offenses with very young children. In 2013 he was sentenced on appeal to almost 19 years in prison and institutionalized psychiatric treatment. From prison M. sent a letter to newspapers' Trouw and the Volkskrant last year. A few months later, he also sent the letter to lawyer Richard Korver. Korver represented the families of some of M.'s victims. In the letter he expressed regret for what he did, and said he's available for the victims' families if they want to speak with him, according to the Volkskrant. 

Trouw sent the letter back unopened. Two Volkskrant reporters repeatedly had telephone contact with M. and even visited him at the prison in Vught, according to the newspaper. M. listed them as a "relationship visit", and did not request permission for a media visit as stated in the rules. According to the Volkskrant, its reporters signed in under their real names and would've responded honestly if asked if they were journalists, but this never happened.

Lawyer Korver forwarded the letter to the victims' parents. One couple filed a complaint with the Ministry of Justice.

Minister Sander Dekker of Legal Protection, which falls under the Ministry of Justice and Security, sent a letter to the Tweede Kamer in response to the Volkskrant's article. In it he stated that the supervision on Robert M. was intensified. All his visitors will be screened in advance, as well as all post he sends or receives. 

But according to the Volkskrant, Dekker's letter is incomplete. He does not mention the fact that M. was banned from sending any post for three months after his letter to Trouw was sent back unopened, but could still contact the Volkskrant reporters unhindered. There is also no mention of the fact that supervision on M. was not intensified after parents filed a complaint about the letter to their lawyer with the Ministry of Justice, the newspaper writes.

When asked why these facts were not included in the letter to the Tweede Kamer - the lower house of Dutch parliament - a spokesperson for Dekker told the Volkskrant: "The Kamer letter focused on the article in the Volkskrant. It is therefore not the case that all measures against the person in question were mentioned therein." The spokesperson could not tell the newspaper why supervision on M. was not intensified after the parents' complaint to the Ministry.