Ministers did know about allegations that senior justice ministry civil servant Joris Demmink and three top level public prosecutors had links to the abuse of young boys, a magistrates court in Utrecht was told on Wednesday.
The judge is hearing evidence in a civil case against Demmink brought by a foundation which wants to collect evidence against the former justice ministry chief who retired last year. Demmink has been dogged by child abuse claims for years.
Former police detective Leendert de Koter told the judge the allegations against Demmink were made as part of a broad investigation into a child abuse ring, known as the Rolodex case.
Successive ministers have defended Demmink against the claims and current justice minister Ivo Opstelten told MPs last year Demmink was ‘in no way’ connected to the Rolodex investigation.
The Rolodex investigation started in 1997 under the leadership of Fred Teeven, then chief prosecutor in Amsterdam and now junior justice minister. The investigation focused on an Amsterdam professor named as Van R who is said to have organised orgies with minors.
De Koter told the court in Utrecht Teeven must have been aware of the claims against Demmink and the three other officials.
The homeland security department was also aware of the investigation, De Koter said.
The investigation petered out after wire taps appeared to have been compromised. Detectives were also refused permission to monitor Demmink’s movements.
A raid on Van R’s home also failed to turn up incriminating evidence. ‘When we arrived at 8am, it was as if the coffee was ready,’ De Koter is quoted as saying by broadcaster Nos. ‘The computer, video and video tapes were gone.’
On Tuesday a former child prostitute told the court he had contact with Demmink in the 1990s.
The Utrecht trial is a civil procedure and not connected to the public prosecution department’s decision in January to launch a formal criminal investigation into Demmink and claims he abused several boys.
The hearings were initiated by a foundation named De Roestige Spijker to collect evidence in case Demmink starts legal proceedings against it, Nos television says.
The foundation has the distribution rights to an American documentary about Demmink entitled Dutch Injustice, which it plans to circulate in the Netherlands. Demmink has said he will take action against the foundation if it goes ahead.
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