Junior justice minister Fred Teeven has denied parliament was wrongly informed about a deal he struck with a convicted drugs dealer 15 years ago while a public prosecutor.
On Wednesday, television current affairs show Nieuwsuur reported that Teeven agreed to pay back 4.7 million guilders to Cees H, and that he had not been given official permission to do so. Teeven has always claimed the payment was no more than two million guilders.
On Thursday Teeven refused to go into the difference in figures and referred again to a statement by justice minister Ivo Opstelten on Wednesay who also denied misleading parliament.
Teeven said that Opstelten is politically responsible for the actions of justice ministry civil servants, as he was at the time. ‘I cannot tell you what happened within the public prosecution department,’ he said. ‘It would not be appropriate to do so.’
Teeven also repeated that he remembered making the deal but that the supporting facts are no longer available.
Nieuwsuur bases its claims on ‘multiple’ documents from the public prosecution department and other sources.
The deal, which was kept secret from the tax authorities, hit the headlines in March 2014. The public prosecution department had sequestered around five million guilders in assets from drugs lord H – including property and jewellery. However, the department was unable to prove the assets had been obtained illegally and so most of the money was returned to H.
Teeven agreed to the deal in ‘complete confidentiality’ so that ‘national and/or international tax services and fiscal authorities’ were not informed, Nieuwsuur said. The money was paid back to H via Luxemburg bank accounts, effectively laundering the money.
H’s current lawyer Jan-Hein Kuijper told the Pauw chat show later on Wednesday evening that he is in possession of the missing receipt. ‘I can confirm that the amount mentioned in Nieuwsuur is correct,’ Kuijpers said. However, he will not go public with the receipt because his client does not want him to, he said.
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