Margarita loses witness testimony request
5 February 2004 , AMSTERDAM — A court in The Hague ruled on Thursday that neither Prince Bernhard nor the father or brother of Princess Margarita have to give testimony under oath, denting the disgruntled princess' chances of suing the royal family.
5 February 2004
AMSTERDAM — A court in The Hague ruled on Thursday that neither Prince Bernhard nor the father or brother of Princess Margarita have to give testimony under oath, denting the disgruntled princess' chances of suing the royal family.
Princess Margarita and her husband Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn had requested court permission to summons several royal witnesses. The couple claim they were the victim of a smear campaign and are considering suing the Dutch State and the royal family.
The couple allege that the Dutch state investigated them on request from the royal family, constituting a breach of privacy. But the court in The Hague ruled that it is not clear that testimony from the royal family will unveil relevant facts to prove their claim, news agency ANP reported.
"The expression of several allegations against the state, without further basis, is insufficient reason to allow temporary witness testimony," the court said.
Princess Margarita and Edwin had wanted to hear testimony from Prince Bernhard (the husband of former queen, Princess Juliana), Carlos Hugo de Bourbon de Parme (Margarita's father) and Prince Carlos de Bourbon de Parme (Margarita's brother).
They also wanted to summons the director of the Queen's Cabinet, Felix Rhodius, former director general of the Government Information Service RVD, Eef Brouwers, Dutch secret service AIVD director Sybrand van Hulst and public news service NOS journalist Maartje van Weegen.
Rhodius asked the AIVD — formerly known as the BVD — to conduct a background check of Edwin and his family, but lawyers for the royal couple claimed the results of the inquires included privacy-sensitive information.
The royal couple also accused the royal family of running a smear campaign against Edwin, damaging his business dealings. In a highly publicised scandal, they threatened last year to sue for in excess of EUR 30 million.
Meanwhile, lawyer Britta Bohler admitted she was "very disappointed" with the court verdict. But despite the setback, she also said the legal challenge against the state would go ahead, public news service NOS reported.
In the next few weeks, lawyers will decide whether they will appeal the ruling. But they may also decide against an appeal and directly challenge the Dutch state in court.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news