Justice Min. fined for social distancing violation at his wedding
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) has issued a fine to Justice and Security Minister Ferd Grapperhaus for violating social distancing rules at his own wedding. The event sparked controversy after a freelance photographer captured images of the wedding party gathered for a group picture, Grapperhaus shaking hands with a guest, and his arm around his new mother-in-law.
He was notified of the 390 euro fine on Thursday, a spokesperson for the ministry told newswire ANP. "The minister informed the OM that he will respect the decision," the spokesperson said. "He will pay the fine as soon as possible."
Grapperhaus survived a heated debate over the issue, during which he delivered an emotional apology to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Parliament. He maintained support from Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who noted that not only had his Cabinet member owned up to the mistake, but that Grapperhaus also gave donations to the Red Cross in the amount of the fine on behalf of himself and his wife.
Eventually, the Cabinet conceded to demands from Parliament to lower the amount of the social distancing fine to 99 euros. The reduction would also mean that the violation would no longer show up on an offender's criminal record.