Saturday 18 September 2021

Former justice top dog should face probe for child rape: court

A former senior civil servant at the justice ministry should face criminal prosecution for child abuse, a court in Arnhem has decided.

Joris Demmink was the department’s most senior official until last November and has for years been followed by allegations of paedophilia, which he has always denied.

Two Turkish men who claim to have been victims of Demmink went to the Dutch court demanding the public prosecution department take action against him. The public prosecutor refused to do so, saying earlier investigations turned up no ‘criminal offences’.

Business

The men claim to have been abused by Demmink as minors while he was in Turkey on business in 1996. The court said the claims should now be investigated because  ‘the available material gives sufficient reason for a reasonable supposition of guilt’.

This means the department will now have to carry out further research, including interviewing one witness in Turkey, the NRC said. A second witness has since died. In addition, the department will have to study Demmink’s movements in the year in question. He has always denied being in Turkey in 1996.

Evidence

Adèle van der Plas, who represents the Turkish men, says she is very pleased with the court’s decision. ‘After all these years we are finally being taken seriously,’ she told reporters. ‘We have an overload of evidence.’

In 2012 the Dutch security service, justice ministry and police said they saw no reason to carry out a new investigation into allegations of child abuse made against the secretary-general.

The statement came after the Helsinki Commission, a US agency created to monitor compliance with treaties on security and cooperation in Europe, urged the Netherlands to carry out a proper investigation into claims  Demmink raped the two under-age Turkish boys.

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