Secret relationships in Public Prosecution office; MPs want explanation

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A number of parliamentarians want an explanation from Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus about secret relationships within the Public Prosecution Service. On Wednesday NRC reported that two prosecutors lied about being in an relationship for years. And that two were appointed chief prosecutors by a prosecutor they had relationships with.

According to NRC, prosecutors Marc van Nimwegen and Marianne Bloos are in a relationship. The two regularly had their drivers drop them off at the same hotel, and the drivers then had to wait in the parking lot, the newspaper writes. They were also seen walking hand in hand on the beach. In 2011 Bloos was appointed chief prosecutor of the functional prosecutor's office by Van Nimwegen. In 2014 a number of other prosecutors complained to the Justice Minister about nepotism.

The relationship and lies about it also led to a breach of trust. "Colleagues feel unsafe and they no longer dare to criticize each other", a chief prosecutor said to the newspaper. A member of the Group Council that meets every month added: "If someone criticizes Bloos, they face trouble from Van Nimwegen."

The tensions within the Public Prosecution Service rose even further this month after Heleen Rutgers was appointed chief prosecutor for the Public Prosecutor in Oost-Brabant. According to NRC, Rutgers and Van Nimwegen were in a relationship before his romance started with Bloos.

The CDA and D66 want an explanation from Minister Grapperhaus of  Justice and Security, the Telegraaf reports. "The Public Prosecutor must be a stronghold of integrity. From high to low", CDA parliamentarian Chris van Dam said to the newspaper. "The essence now: was there really 'lying', was there a violation of the integrity code? This has to be quickly clarified by the minister."

D66 parliamentarian Maarten Groothuizen called NRC's story a "worrying report" that is "bad for the image of the Public Prosecutor". "Also sad for all those hard working public prosecutors. Minister Grapperhaus must provide clarification quickly", he said to the Telegraaf.