Defence minister says he was not deliberately misinformed

Defence minister Hans Hillen told MPs on Wednesday he had not been deliberately misinformed about problems at a navy base in Den Helder.

The Volkskrant reported on Wednesday that the most senior civil servant in the defence ministry was aware of serious misconduct but had not informed the minister.
On Monday, Hillen told MPs he was not aware of the problems at CAMS Force Vision, and they had come as a complete shock.
But confidential correspondence in the hands of the paper shows secretary general Ton Annink wrote to a man who blew the whistle on goings-on at the base in September 2010 and assured him steps were being taken.
The secretary general is not to blame for this, Hillen said. ‘I have complete trust in him.’
MPs are unhappy about the situation and say they have ‘great difficulty’ in accepting Hillen’s explanation.
The debate was set to continue late into Wednesday afternoon.
This week it emerged that two offcers at a navy department in Den Helder have been disciplined for making improper use of military cars, fiddling their holiday entitlement and ‘undesirable behaviour’.
The disciplinary hearing followed a number of allegations by a whistleblower about the prestigious CAMS Force Vision unit, where software and sea defence systems are developed.
Military police are now investigating further to establish if any more serious crimes have been committed.
D66 party leader Alexander Pechtold told the paper: ‘Either he [the minister] did not know, in which case he was at fault or he did know and was also at fault.’

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