Pre-trial hearings of a former council executive, MP and senator who is accused of corruption began in Rotterdam on Tuesday.
Jos van Rey, who represented the right-wing Liberal VVD, faces seven charges of bribery, election fraud and money laundering, the Volkskrant reports.
Today’s hearing, which Van Rey did not attend, is to outline legal technicalities and for the defence to make requests to the court. Two other men, Roermond property developer Piet van P and another former alderman, Tilman Scheurs, also face charges in connection with the case.
The investigation into Van Rey began in 2012 when Limburg newspapers wrote about a potential conflict of interest due to his friendship with a property developer. The investigation widened to include claims that he had leaked information about the selection procedure for the new Roermond mayor.
Telephone taps revealed Van Rey had leaked information to two candidates and passed on the names of candidates to others, including junior justice minister Fred Teeven.
The prosecution claims Van P spent over €97,000 on Van Rey, taking him on visits to trade fairs in Munich and Cannes, international football matches and to his holiday home in France.
In return he was given preferential treatment, confidential information and work at higher than normal rates, the prosecution says.
It is not yet clear when the case will be heard in detail.
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