December 6, 2022

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The House of Representatives' secret advisors do not recognize a series of 23 complaints

The House of Representatives’ secret advisors do not recognize a series of 23 complaints

In July, Parliament Speaker Vera Bergkamp handed the gavel to Khadija Arib, who was elected chairperson of the Preparatory Committee for the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Corona crisis.Frick van den Berg statue / de Volkskrant

The stumbling block is a letter of 23 complaints sent in the summer of 2021 from secret advisors to current House Speaker Vera Bergkamp (D66) and senior House officials. This letter, along with other documents, was submitted to state attorneys by Bergkamp and writer Simon Ross last month, with the aim of evaluating whether an investigation into misconduct should be opened by ARIP.

At least three of the six secret advisors were shocked by this. Anke Koij, who co-signed the letter in question, says the 23 complaints do not constitute “concrete evidence” against Arib. She had “no idea” why the letter of complaint had been handed over to State Prosecutor Bils Rieken for advice on a possible investigation into the Arib case. ‘I did not do that.’

Complaints from other MPs too

According to Kooij, the message from the secret advisors should be interpreted as a “general signal about social insecurity” in the House of Representatives. “There is nothing more or less than that.” According to Kooij, the letter relates to a 3.5-year period (2018-2021) in which complaints about MPs from other parties were also circulated. Koeig: “So these reports could also be about others.”

A second secret counsel, Monique Christiane, says she does not acknowledge the 23 complaint. She doesn’t even know “this is the whole letter.” A third confidential advisor, who wishes to remain anonymous, also said he was not aware of a letter containing 23 complaints about Arib. This is great, because confidential advisors consult with each other regularly and jointly prepare an annual report. The House of Representatives has a total of six secret advisors to nearly six hundred employees.

“So to and such a mess”

As far as Christiaanse is concerned, a false impression has been created that the letter was prepared on behalf of all the secret advisors. Inquiry from de Volkskrant He learns that the letter was signed by two secret advisors, Anneke Kooij and Anita Bos. This is important for Christianes, because she does not want Parliament staff to believe that she shared classified information with the Presidency, the Chamber of Deputies: as a result of this whole event, the people working in the Chamber did not begin to feel safe. Because now it’s like running straight to the presidency and reporting it if someone comes up to me with something. That’s not our business at all, Christiansi says. “I find all of this awful and such a mess.”

There are also three secret advisors who don’t want to answer questions from de Volkskrant. They point to their spokesperson, who also appears to be speaking on behalf of Chamber President Bergkamp, ​​the Registrar and the Chief of Personnel for the House of Representatives. The spokeswoman does not want to clarify whether all 23 reports in the letter from secret advisors relate to Arabs or whether there is a misunderstanding about this.

Some members of Parliament have had doubts about the approach to the Oraib investigation for some time and therefore asked Bergkamp and the Presidency last Tuesday to stop the investigation. A decision on this is expected soon.

And the Speaker of the House of Representatives Works, Michal Meretz, pressed the Presidency, Thursday, to continue the investigation, because the lack of clarity in this would lead to “significant disturbances” among the official cadre of the House of Representatives, Meretz told the newspaper. RTL News.

Daylight is different

At the same time, the decision to start an investigation into the Arib case is suddenly shedding new light now that at least three secret advisors believe some of the evidence cannot be used against Arib. Two of them said that the suggestion that there might have been 23 complaints for some time played a major role in the decision of the eight Presidency members to ever start an investigation into the Arib case. de Volkskrant. They speak on condition of anonymity, because it is considered a criminal offense to leak from presidential meetings.

The first Presidency member says the investigation into the Oraib case eventually came after signs of infringing behavior accumulated: the first two anonymous letters came early this year, then the department said it identified the incidents in the letters and then another letter emerged as a complaint from secret advisors. Therefore, the first anonymous letter issued in February was not yet a reason to investigate the presidential order.

Anonymous complaints

Only when it became known that Arib would become the head of the Corona investigation committee and another anonymous letter came in July, it started to turn. In it, the writer of the letter describes the conflicts that others would have had with Arib. The presidency member said those incidents were “confirmed by the management team and advisors.” Specifically, the suggestion that there will also be 23 other complaints about Arib with confidential advisors means that the member cannot ignore anonymous complaints. Then the secret advisors say: We also have 23 incidents describing the same thing.

Both members of the Presidency say that they did not see the letter containing the 23 complaints themselves, but during the Presidency meeting, they were only informed in general terms that something like this had happened, and that someone made it clear about it at the time. For the second member of the Presidency, information on the 23 complaints also played an important role in the decision to launch an official investigation into ARIB by Hoffmann-Pedrigfscherch. “If someone has signs that something isn’t really going well, act on it,” says the second Presidium member.

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