The Rotterdam court will rule on Friday morning whether former alderman Richard de Mos and seven co-defendants are guilty of bribery and corruption. The Public Prosecution Service demands a prison sentence of almost two years for De Mos.
The verdict can be followed live from ten o’clock this morning via a stream in this article.
The Hague corruption affair revolves around bribery and nepotism in and around the political party of former PVV member Richard de Mos. In exchange for more than a ton in donations to the party fund, five catering and real estate bosses from The Hague frequently received priority and benefits when De Mos was alderman, the OM says. De Mos had to leave the College of B and W of The Hague after raids by the National Investigation Department in October 2019.
The criminal demands of the Public Prosecution Service are substantial. The prosecutors believe that De Mos should go to jail for 22 months, against his fellow party member and ex-alderman Rachid Guernaoui, the judiciary demanded 16 months in prison (of which four were suspended). According to the Public Prosecution Service, both should also not be allowed to hold a political-administrative position for four years. Lower penalties were demanded against the entrepreneurs.
Also listen to our podcast series O, o, De Mos about the case and the rise of De Mos.
Episode seven about the verdict will be released soon.
Justice relies heavily on seized emails and app conversations and tapped telephone conversations for evidence. According to the Public Prosecution Service, they exude an intimate entanglement between politicians and party donors. Donors were ‘holy’ to De Mos and they boasted among themselves that they ‘made the party great’ and paid a lot.
Although De Mos claims to operate transparently, not everything happened in openness, according to the Public Prosecution Service. De Mos informed his select club of sponsors early and did not hesitate to exert political pressure on others to promote the commercial interests of donors.
Who are the suspects in the Hague corruption affair? Read our review article here.
People who didn’t donate had to join the back. “Whoever thinks that you can favor paying supporters disqualifies himself as a politician,” said the public prosecutor in February when pronouncing the sentence. “The ombuds policy of De Mos sounds sympathetic, but turns out to be painfully undemocratic, it is pure nepotism.”
De Mos himself maintains that he acted with the best of intentions: “I was always on to make the city better.” He said about the incriminating apps and tapped conversations: “It looks ugly if you leave out the context. When you hear lyrics, things sound really exciting. The OM is good at that, it has turned it into a Sherlock Holmes book.” Texts that now come across as suspicious were only ‘boastful speech’, humor and ‘The Hague bluff’, the suspects claim.
Watch our video: what can we expect from the judge’s verdict?
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