MPs raise concern over child porn judge

13th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

13 April 2004 , AMSTERDAM — The Liberal VVD and Labour PvdA parties have questioned whether a former judge convicted last month for possessing child pornography might have benefited from preferential treatment from the prosecution.

13 April 2004

AMSTERDAM — The Liberal VVD and Labour PvdA parties have questioned whether a former judge convicted last month for possessing child pornography might have benefited from preferential treatment from the prosecution.

The former judge was sentenced in Arnhem Court last month to a three-month suspended jail term and a EUR 2,500 fine. But the sentence was considered too lenient by some MPs compared with penalties handed down in similar cases, newspaper Het Parool reported on Tuesday.

Furthermore, the prosecution had not conducted a thorough investigation because it expected the judge to co-operate, Radio Netherlands reported.

And despite the fact child pornography was found on the hard drive of the suspect's computer, it was not seized by authorities and his second house in France was not searched either.

The VVD and PvdA have since demanded answers from Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner, who has refused to comment while the legal process continues. The prosecution has lodged an appeal and Donner will not comment until the appeal has been heard in court.

"(But) just because it involves a judge, you cannot be accommodating. This involves serious prosecutable offences," Liberal MP Laetitia Griffith said.

Both the VVD and PvdA have also raised concerns about the Justice Ministry's apparent intervention in the case. An inquiry into the suspect's possible sexual abuse of his stepson was halted after suspected ministry intervention.

After the former judge wrote a letter to Minister Donner objecting to the investigation, the prosecution's inquiries were abandoned.
 
"It is shocking if it is appears that the judge could have an influence on a criminal investigation," MP Griffith said.

PvdA MP Aleid Wolfsen also said the investigation can be resumed if it was stopped based on improper reasons. He said there was no legal obstacle to a resumption of inquiries.

An electrician found pornographic discs and videotapes hidden in the judge's house in October 2001. He resigned as vice president of Maastricht Court and started working as an academic at Maastricht University. He was forced to resign from the university after his conviction last month.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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