Ministers accused of hyping 'Verdonk's bullet'

8th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

8 November 2005, AMSTERDAM — An opposition politician has accused Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and the Cabinet of hyping the suggestion that damage to the window of Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk's office was caused by a bullet.

8 November 2005

AMSTERDAM — An opposition politician has accused Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and the Cabinet of hyping the suggestion that damage to the window of Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk's office was caused by a bullet.

Femke Halsema, leader of the green-left GroenLinks, wrote in her online diary that ministers had behaved in an "undisciplined fashion" and had feed the "media hype".

Media reports last week suggested the damage had been caused by a bullet. Underlining the increased threat level, it was reported Verdonk wore a bullet-proof vest last week when attending a ceremony to mark the first anniversary of the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh.

Speaking about the damaged window, Balkenende said on Friday that he would not speculate about what caused it. But at one stage he referred to "traces of a bullet".
The window was removed for a technical examination and experts quickly said the damage was most likely not caused by a bullet. 

"At no time was the report [of the bullet] refuted, at no time was it nuanced," Halsema wrote. "The unsettling thought that a year after the murder of Van Gogh a minister was now also a target was strengthened."

Halsema wondered in her diary why she no longer heard the same ministers talking about the incident now that a gun attack had been ruled out.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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