Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
WND has reported on the case of Joris Demmink, the secretary general of the Ministry of Justice in the Netherlands. Just yesterday, it was reported that the U.S. State Department had launched a defense of the suspect in multiple child rape cases.
WND reported that members of Congress are inserting themselves into the case, asking the Dutch for a “transparent” investigation and even calling on Turkey to deliver any evidence it has in the claims being made against Demmink.
Kwame Fosu, the policy director for the Rebecca Project, said in a statement to WND today that the march is to call “the world’s attention to a shocking and outrageous situation in the Netherlands.”
“For years, Mr. Demmink has used the power of his office to thwart investigations into this despicable behavior,” he said. “This year, as more of Demmink’s victims speak up and demand justice, The Rebecca Project is leading a series of worldwide actions to force the Dutch government to deal with this matter as is required in a civilized world.
“One of the most frustrating aspects of Demmink’s reign of terror is his plan to retire from the Dutch government – WITH HONOR – very soon. When he does, it is widely anticipated that he will escape punishment for his crimes by fleeing to a non-extradition nation, where he will continue his perverse activities while being supported by the Dutch pension system, APG Asset Management,” he said.
He said the march is scheduled for Friday, when dozens of activists will protest in front of the APG offices in the Chrysler Building in New York City, “demanding that APG affirm it will not release Demmink’s pension until and unless his alleged crimes are investigated and adjudicated properly. ”
Just a day earlier, it was reported that the U.S. State Department, through its embassy in the Hague, was calling the statements of witnesses, including alleged victims, “unproven.” Accusations also include statements by private investigators and a former police official who reports he procured young boys for Demmink on instructions from Demmink.
The details were provided to WND by a source with access to an email exchange between congressional staff members and the U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands.
Embassy officials said, “Demmink has been one of the most influential officials in the past three decades in three consecutive positions at the Ministry of Justice, first as director general for the Administration of Justice, then as director general for International Affairs and Alien Affairs, and since 2002 as the ministry’s highest official as secretary general.”
The officials confirmed that the international child sex trafficking scandal involving Demmink has been going on “since the mid-1990s.”
But the embassy stated to Congress:
However, conclusive proof has never been delivered. The allegations have repeatedly been investigated but proof was never found for his having committed criminal offenses.
In fact, a gay magazine and a tabloid that had published the allegations were ordered by a court in 2003 to rectify their stories. In October 2003, someone filed a complaint against Demmink, [and the complainer] was convicted in July 2004 by a police judge and sentenced to two months of suspended imprisonment for making a false and deceitful statement.
In 2007, a major Turkish drug leader by the name of Hüseyin Baybasin, who was convicted in the Netherlands for murder, kidnapping and drug trafficking and sentenced to life, accused Demmink of conspiring with Turkish officials to get him convicted. He charged that these officials had put [Demmink] under pressure because they allegedly had evidence that [Demmink] abused young boys in Turkey in the 1990s.
The allegation was investigated, but the prosecutor’s office again concluded that there was no evidence to substantiate the allegation. It noted that the allegation was based on “a mysterious report” about which Baybasin’s attorneys could not provide any clarification. His attorneys did not accept this decision and filed in 2008 for an injunction from the appellate court requesting that the prosecutor initiate criminal proceedings. The request was denied and the appellate court dismissed their arguments as unfounded, insufficiently concrete and insufficiently motivated.
The embassy also noted a complaint was filed against Demmink on behalf of two Turkish men who said they had been sexually abused as minors by Demmink in Turkey in the 1990s.
“Following an investigation, the prosecutor’s office decided not to prosecute because one testimony was qualified as ‘unreliable’ and because similar allegations in 2007 had not yielded any proof of any wrongdoing,” the embassy said.
“Over the years, the Justice Minister has repeatedly answered parliamentary questions about the allegations and has always pointed out that none of the allegations have ever been substantiated. If there was anything to it, it would have come out after all these years. On Internet, however, the wildest conspiracy theories continue to circulate,” State Department officials told Congress.
But members of Congress now are targeting the Demmink scandal, pointing out that the various “investigations” that were launched were under the auspices of the bureaucracy run by Demmink and routinely have been shut down.
While Demmink has been accused multiple times, “the investigation into these accusations was suddenly and inexplicable halted, and law enforcement officials involved were allegedly sworn to secrecy,” Smith said at a recent hearing on the issue of child trafficking.
“The allegations are shocking and horrible, Mr. Demmink has a right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and that is a sacred right that I’m sure we all want to protect. At the same time, the allegations, when taken in their full context, are credible, and deserve to be properly investigated so that a prosecutor can make a responsible decision whether to proceed with a case against Mr. Demmink. That investigation has never happened – the investigations that have taken place have been a travesty and have done nothing to clear Mr. Demmink’s name. Rather, they have raised further questions,” he said.
“It has come to my attention that Secretary General of the Dutch Ministry of Justice, Mr. Joris Demmink, allegedly made an agreement in the mid-1990s with the government of Turkey to cover up multiple complaints of child sexual abuse filed against him,” said the letter to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“Investigations into the matter reportedly have found that Turkish police officers provided Mr. Demmink with minor boys during his visits to Turkey in the 1990s. According to law enforcement officers in Turkey and the Netherlands, Mr. Demmink used the power of his position to obstruct efforts to file complaints against him and used investigations as a way to deter his accusers,” the letter said.
An attorney in the Netherlands, Adele van der Plas, is representing several of the men who remember being victimized by Demmink. She told WND the Netherlands has decided to back Demmink “in spite of all the overwhelming proof.”
She said there are four police reports naming Demmink as a suspect, and six victims who have come forward to identify him. She said a Turkish policeman who was to provide security but instead was asked to kidnap boys from the street for Demmink to rape has come forward.
But van der Plas told WND, “There has never been a credible investigation into his behavior.”
See a video report that includes statements from victims and corroborating testimony from investigators:
The website, which cites a London Guardian story calling Amsterdam a center for pedophiles, said the fact that no action has resulted is easy to explain.
“Without an official criminal investigation, based on the Dutch Code of Criminal Procedures, the hands of the prosecutors were, in their own words, completely tied. Without an official suspect and criminal investigation, prosecutors lacked the authority to travel to Turkey to interrogate the available witnesses and to properly investigate the data of Demmink’s official and non-official trips in the 1990s. Instead of performing its own research, the prosecutor’s office simply accepted Demmink’s ‘alibi.’”
But the push for a full review seems to be gaining steam.
The Miami Herald reported just days ago that the Rebecca Project for Human Rights asked Congress to not only bar Demmink from entering the U.S. but to freeze any of Demmink’s U.S.-based assets, pending an investigation.
Executive Director Imani Walker and Fosu said in a statement, “Allegations of sexual violence by Dutch Justice Ministry Secretary-General Joris Demmink continue to remain unaccounted for, despite brave victims of Demmink’s crimes, in both the Netherlands and Turkey, demanding justice.”