Judges in Amsterdam on Wednesday banned populist public broadcaster Powned from disseminating secretly recorded footage of former Maastricht mayor Onno Hoes with a 20-year-old man.
Hoes claims the secret recordings, which showed him meeting a ‘toy boy’ late last year, damage his honour and his reputation. ‘I will ask the courts to determine the difference between what is public and what is private,’ the mayor said at the time.
The court said in a preliminary ruling that although the mayor is a public figure, he is not ‘fair game’, even if his own actions have led to ‘debate in the public arena’.
‘Powned must ensure the illegal footage can no longer be found via search machines and on the internet,’ the court said. In addition, Powned was ordered to hand over all its footage and recordings so that Hoes can have it checked to see if it has been manipulated.
The young man in question, Robbie Haaselt, recorded Hoes making sexually charged comments during a meal and later published information from the mayor’s work diary on his weblog. Powned also broadcast the footage.
Hoes first hit the headlines in 2013 while still married to television gossip show presenter Albert Verlinde when Dutch media made a string of allegations that the mayor was having affairs with younger men.
He also placed a photograph of his naked torso on gay social media site Grindr. Hoes, who represented the right-wing VVD, survived that scandal although he and Verlinde separated in October 2014 after 22 years together.
The second scandal led him to resign as mayor at the end of last year and he was formally replaced this summer.
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