Donner backs prosecution’s ‘no deal’ stance
21 January 2004
AMSTERDAM — Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner has backed the prosecution supervisory council in its refusal to make a deal with a known criminal to help gain a conviction in of suspects in the murder plot against Amsterdam prosecutor Koos Plooy.
The Public Prosecution Office (OM) believes that a renowned Yugoslavian criminal is behind the murder plot, but the College van Procureurs-Generaal (Attorneys-General Council) is opposed to making a deal with another criminal in exchange for information.
Prosecutors have reacted with anger to the decision, but Justice Minister Donner said on Wednesday that the attorneys-general council had consulted with him before making its decision, an NOS news report said.
“The prosecutors would get a very special position if we allowed deals to be made with criminals for them. We don’t do that for other people either,” the Christian Democrat CDA minister said.
Government coalition member Liberal VVD and main opposition party Labour PvdA have demanded Donner do everything possible to heal the conflict within the OM. The VVD has also demanded the minister provide more details about the matter.
But Donner said there is no reason why he should intervene and dismissed concerns that there was a crisis of authority or even a breach of trust within the national prosecution office. He said it was up to the OM to resolve the dispute. “It is a difference of opinion between the council and one or two prosecutors of the national office,” he said.
The OM revealed last September that criminals were planning to murder prosecutor Plooy, who is closely involved in the fight against organised crime. The main suspect is mafia boss Sreten “Jotcha” Jocic, who is presently serving a jail term in the Vught extra security prison for shooting a police officer.
Meanwhile, amid concern about the leaking of case details, a speaking ban has been imposed on prosecutor Fred Teeven. He is not personally accused of releasing details about the case, but staff he has spoken with are alleged to have leaked information.
If the prosecution fails to officially charge Jocic before the middle of March, the Netherlands will be forced to extradite him to Germany, where he faces trial for a relatively small cocaine case.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news