Hague mayor named in controversial real estate deal: report

Mayor Pauline Krikke was personally involved in a controversial real estate deal involving capital building Noordeinde 64/64A - next to Noordeinde Palace, the Telegraaf reports based on documents the newspaper received from The Hague municipality after calling on the Freedom of Information Act.

According to the newspaper, the building was sold for an amount far below appraisal value to well-known handbag designer Omar Munie. He wants to develop luxury apartments and a shop with atelier in the building.

In an internal email dated December 13th, 2017 it is said that the mayor was enthusiastic about Munie's plans for the building and that she "actively supports the realization of it", according to the Telegraaf. The email also states that Krikke felt the deal does not have to go through the college of mayor and aldermen. After that there were unsuccessful attempts to deal with the transaction at an official level - outside the public domain, the newspaper writes. 

Krikke refused to explain why she did not leave the transaction to the responsible alderman Joris Wijsmuller, according to the newspaper. "We do not respond to an email of which we do not know the origin", a spokesperson for the mayor said to the Telegraaf. "In general, the mayor does not have a role in the entire process surrounding the Noordeinde 64/64A building." 

Parties involved told the newspaper that the building was sold far below its appraisal value, though the Telegraaf could not confirm how much money was involved in the deal. Other entrepreneurs who were interested in the building told the paper that they offered to pay more for the property. These include the renowned cigar store Casa del Habano The Hague and Gaemers.