Mayor should say sorry, says ombudsman

Amsterdam’s mayor Job Cohen should apologise to the seven people wrongly arrested on terrorism charges last week, says the national ombudsman Alex Brenninkmeijer.

‘There is talk of financial compensation. But it would seem that it is too difficult for the government to say “we are sorry”,’ the Volkskrant reported Brenninkmeijer as saying on Thursday.
The ombudsman was speaking at a news conference to launch his 2008 annual report, which focused on excessive bureaucracy.
The seven were arrested after an anonymous tip-off which said shops in Amsterdam’s Zuidoost were terrorist targets.
Brenninkmeijer said the refusal to say sorry was another example of the government’s hardening attitudes. ‘Most people value an apology. They are often more important than compensation,’ the paper quoted him as saying.
Opposition councillors in the capital also think the mayor should apologise.

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