Whistleblower gains royal support
Husband of one of Queen Beatrix’s sisters wants to act as mediator for whisteblower Fred Spijkers.19 May 2008
THE NETHERLANDS - Pieter van Vollenhoven, husband of one of Queen Beatrix's sisters, wants to act as mediator in the case of whistleblower Fred Spijkers. He says Spijkers is a courageous man and he would be glad to help him.
Almost 25 years ago, Spijkers, then a social worker for the Ministry of Defence, prevented a Ministry of Defence cover-up after the deaths of eight soldiers. The eight were killed by landmines that had a fatal design error in the detonating mechanism.
Spijkers refused to tell the widow of one of the soldiers that his death was caused by the soldier's own carelessness, knowing as he did that that was not the case. As a result of his action, Spijkers still faces problems with his income, pension and tax assessments.
Several parliamentary parties have called for these problems to be resolved before the summer.
The defence ministry was aware of the faulty detonating mechanism as early as 1970. But it was only admitted by Defence Minister Joris Voorhoeve in 1997.
[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]