Prosecutor suspended over secret love affair; damaged entire organization

Senior prosecutors Marc van Nimwegen and Marianne Bloos seriously violated the integrity rules of the Public Prosecution Service with their secret relationship and thereby damaged the entire organization, the Fokkens committee concluded after investigating the relationship. The Public Prosecution Service suspended Van Nimwegen on Wednesday, RTL Nieuws reports.

It took the Fokkens committee 11 months to investigate the secret relationship between Public Prosecution Service head Van Nimwegen and his subordinate Marianne Bloos and the consequences thereof. The committee found indications that Bloos and Nimwegen had a love affair from May 2011, also during a time when Van Nimwegen was Bloos' manager. The two should have reported their relationship, but didn't .

With the relationship, they seriously damaged the behavioral and integrity standards of the Public Prosecution Service, the researchers said. The relationship also "had harmful consequences for the entire organization and its employees and for the trust in the management of the Public Prosecution Service". According to the researchers, the affair ruined the atmosphere at the Public Prosecution Service's management. 

The affair between Van Nimwegen and Bloos was first revealed by NRC in May last year. The two were regularly dropped off at the same Van der Valk hotel by their drivers, who then had to wait in the parking lot, the newspaper reported. Van Nimwegen and Bloos also went on a "business trip" to Thailand and Bloos was appointed chief prosecutor for the national office, partly thanks to Van Nimwegen. 

The committee stated that this affair should not be considered as an incident. According to the researchers, there is insufficient ethical leadership at the Public Prosecution Service. It also emerged that there are "feelings of dissatisfaction and concerns about culture" at the Service. The way in which appointments and appointment procedures are established "also evokes dissatisfaction."

Chief Public Prosecutor Gerrit van der Burg said that  called the committee's conclusions "extremely painful", according to RTL Nieuws. "The Public Prosecution Service's image, which must be unimpeachable, has been damaged by the culpable behavior of two senior prosecutors and how the management of the Public Prosecution Service dealt with it."

Van Nimwegen was suspended on Wednesday. He is going to challenge the suspension, his lawyer said to RTL Nieuws. Van Nimwegen still denies that there was a love affair. Bloos refused to respond, according to the broadcaster.