Verdonk accused of grafting funds

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Former Integration Minister, and founder of the party Proud of the Netherlands, has been accused of graft.

THE HAGUE—Ed Sinke, a former advisor of MP Rita Verdonk, has filed a report with the police in which he accuses Verdonk of embezzling money from a foundation Sinke administrates for her party Proud of the Netherlands.

From 2003 until 2007, Rita Verdonk served as Integration Minister in two successive cabinets led by Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. She was highly controversial because of her strict interpretation of immigration laws, and became commonly known as the "integration czar."

Verdonk was a member of the conservative VVD until 2007, when she lost. She left the VVD and decided to form her own party, Proud of the Netherlands, after a power struggle over the party leadership

Sinke says about 4,000 euros were taken from the account of the Vote Rita Verdonk foundation, which was created in 2006 ahead of the VVD party leadership elections.

Verdonk allegedly changed the foundation's address and registered the account in her own name, even though she was not a member of the executive committee.

Sinke says his report has nothing to do with a long-lasting dispute between him and Verdonk.

Radio Netherlands/Expatica

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