MP complains to press council following allegations

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Green Left MP Mariko Peters has complained to the Dutch Press Council after weekly magazine HP/De Tijd accused her of nepotism and involvment in the kidnapping of her partner’s children. The magazine printed excerpts from personal emails between her and her current partner.

At the beginning of August, the weekly magazine revealed that the MP was under investigation after she authorised a subsidy to her partner, Robert, at the beginning of their relationship in 2005. At the time, she was employed as a diplomat at the Dutch embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul. The subsidy was for a cultural activity run by Robert’s organisation no surname is given in the article.

Although the investigation cleared her of awarding the subsidy on improper grounds, Foreign Ministry protocol clearly states there should not even be the slightest risk of a conflict of interests when subsidies are awarded. Ms Peters, however, kept quiet about the blossoming relationship. The investigation exonerated the former diplomat, saying she had not allowed herself to be led by her emotions.

The article also reports that Ms Peters is allegedly an accomplice in the kidnapping of her new partner’s children from his previous marriage. The three children were not returned to their mother who lives in England after a visit last April.

The complaint has been passed on to the magazine’s editors. The Press Council will announce its conclusion four weeks after the hearing on 2 September.

The MP has so far declined to give up her seat in parliament as a result of the affair, in spite of the Green Left party's squeaky clean image and its criticism in the past of other parties’ MPs who refuse to stand down following serious allegations.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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