Ambassador under fire again

31st August 2007, Comments 0 comments

31 August 2007, BRUSSELS - The Belgian ambassador in Paris, Pierre-Dominique Schmidt, currently on suspension as the subject of an investigation into fraud involving a credit application, may also have committed fraud involving the Maison Biermans-Lapôtre, the Belgian student house in Paris. De Morgen reports this.

31 August 2007

BRUSSELS -  The Belgian ambassador in Paris, Pierre-Dominique Schmidt, currently on suspension as the subject of an investigation into fraud involving a credit application, may also have committed fraud involving the Maison Biermans-Lapôtre, the Belgian student house in Paris. De Morgen reports this.

Because of his position as ambassador, Schmidt was automatically the chairman of the Maison Biermans-Lapôtre foundation. This organisation receives a budget of EUR 137,000 each year from the ministry of scientific policy. EUR 80,000 of that amount is earmarked for the functioning of the student house. "I've never seen a euro of that subsidy," says director Peter Van Opstal. "It is a mystery to me where that money went."

Van Opstal's predecessor, who is a close friend of the ambassador, is moreover still living rent free in two apartments in the Maison Biermans-Lapôtre. Just before he was suspended on Wednesday by the Foreign Affairs ministry, Schmidt proposed to the executive board that Van Opstal be dismissed. The reason for this was an audit on his performance which Van Opstal claims was "written by an ex-police officer from the ambassador's immediate circle of friends."

Schmidt's lawyer did not want to comment on the new allegations.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news

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