Dutch news in brief, 28 April 2005

28th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

Donner may ease cannabis policy

Donner may ease cannabis policy

Dutch Justice Minister Piet-Hein Donner is considering a proposal to exclude small-time cannabis growers from prosecution. The Justice Ministry says the time spent by police in tracking down home-growers of cannabis would be devoted to investigating more serious crimes, Radio Netherlands reported on Thursday.

VARA: don't laugh at us!

Broadcaster 'VARA' has cancelled the last four episodes of its hit satirical programme Kopspijkers. Presenter Jack Spijkerman had asked for his contract to be dissolved to allow him to sign up with new station 'Tien'. VARA refused and cancelled the show "to minimise the risk the differences between us would develop further via the show". Spijkerman has said he is shocked and does not understand what the broadcaster is afraid of. Kopspijkers has won large audiences by using actors to portray and poke fun at Queen Beatrix, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and other Dutch personalities. The new station Tien is being established by Talpa, the company run by Big Brother creator John de Mol.

Woman, 80, jailed for killing daughter

A court in Zwolle has sentenced M. te R., 80, to 21 months in jail for the manslaughter of her daughter. The 51-year-old victim with learning difficulties was smothered by a pillow in January. The prosecution had sought a four-year term against her mother, who seemed to have little or no recollection of the incident when the case came to court. She made a statement to police on the night of the killing, saying she had acted out of "a feeling of desperation". Te R. is the oldest woman in the Dutch prison system.

Fifth Chinese child disappears

Dutch police are investigating the disappearance of five underage asylum seekers from the port city of Den Helder in the past 18 months. The latest case involves a 12-year-old Chinese girl who arrived in the Netherlands on her own. She vanished last Friday from the asylum seekers reception centre in the city and no trace of her has been found since. Earlier this month, police said they have arrested 18 people suspected of child smuggling following the disappearance of dozens of child asylum seekers in the Netherlands.

Alderman apologises over tax scandal

Alderman Frits Huffagel has apologised for a tax scandal and says he hopes he can stay on as head of Amsterdam City Council's finance department. He received EUR 19,900 when leader of the Liberal VVD faction on the council in 2002 and 2003. Huffagel has since admitted in a letter to the council he did not declare this income to the tax office. He has repaid the money to the VVD and has taken responsibility for any surcharges and fines the tax office might impose. The affair is also being investigated by accountancy service Acam.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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