Judge suspended for signing off appeals with false information

An appeal court judge in The Hague has been suspended for providing fake information in 43 separate cases, by pretending they had been signed off by three judges rather than him alone. 

The judge made the false declarations over the past two years and the public prosecution department has told the Financieele Dagblad it has started an investigation.

The other two judges, who did not sign the documents, were unaware of what the chief judge was doing. He has declined to say why he acted as if three rather than one judge had dealt with the appeal but there was no personal gain, the court said in a press statement.

However, the move will have generated the court money because a hearing with three judges costs far more than one with one person on the bench. In total, the cases are likely to have generated €110,000 in extra income for the court, the FD calculated.

The cases concerned were appeals against verdicts handed down in The Hague’s magistrate’s court, which deals with minor criminal offences. The appeal court said it is “not likely” that the rights of defendants had been damaged by the judge’s “adapted way of working”. 

The case came to light at the end of last year after a tip was passed on to the court management. 

The court is now “reflecting” on what is taking place within the appeal court, how things could have happened, and what measures, if any, should be taken to prevent future re-occurrences.”

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