Expatica news

Dutch news in brief – 28 May 2004

Dutch request extradition of kidnapping suspect

The public prosecution in Zutphen has asked the German authorities to extradite the Dutch suspect accused of kidnapping 13-year-old school girl Wei Wei Hu last Sunday. If the 37-year-old man agrees to the request lodged with justice authorities in the German town of Munster, his extradition can be accelerated and take just two months. The suspect has been given a lawyer in Germany. The man was arrested on Tuesday morning after surrendering to police in Munster and releasing Wei Wei who had also been sexually assaulted during her 40-hour ordeal.

Royals demand Prive reveal source of photos

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima have demanded to know who offered gossip magazine Prive the photos that originated from the princess’ stolen digital camera. The camera was recently stolen in Argentina and Maxima lodged a police report. The royal couple’s lawyer has since accused Prive of acting illegally by publishing photos found in the camera and have demanded payment of EUR 25,000. Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima claim Prive used stolen material and violated copyright laws. Legal action is also being taken against Dutch broadcaster SBS 6 and an Argentinean website. But Prive claims it bought the photo from a photo press agency in Buenos Aires, which it has previously done business with.

Inquiry demanded into education salary increases

The Dutch Parliament has demanded an independent investigation into allegations that many of the Education Ministry’s senior officials are guilty of granting themselves excessive salary increases and bonuses, Radio Netherlands reported. The controversy started when several officials at the ministry sent an anonymous letter to MPs, claiming that their supervisors had given themselves promotions on the salary scale without receiving the necessary permission. It has also been alleged that senior ministry officials had wrongly received about EUR 1.5 million. The Dutch audit office is considering launching an investigation.

Euronext warns Ahold over accounting scandal

European stock exchange operator Euronext has issued a warning to Dutch retailer Ahold over last year’s accounting scandal, BBC reported Friday. It is not expected that the reprimand will result in financial penalties, but the move could help shareholders seeking compensation in a US class-action suit for a drop in the value of the shares. Ahold revealed massive accountancy regularities in February 2002 and Euronext claims it breached listing rules by failing to report accounting irregularities at its subsidiary US Foodservice in time. Ahold defended itself, saying it took a long time to realise the full extent of the irregularities. It also said Euronext based its warning on an incomplete and incorrect interpretation of the facts.

Number of drink drivers declines in 2003

The number of motorists who take to the road after drinking too much alcohol declined last year. New figures indicated on Friday that in 2003, just 3.9 percent of motorists tested for drink driving were found to be above the legal limit of 0.5, compared with 4.3 percent in 2002. The traffic advice service of the Transport Ministry also said that the decline in drink drivers primarily occurred on Saturday nights. Men represented 85.5 percent of drink drivers caught for breaching the legal limit.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news