Member of parliament Chris van Dam of the government party CDA calls for a “double rethink” in the case surrounding the statements made by rapper Akwasi about Black Pete at the Black Lives Matter demonstration on 1 June in Amsterdam.
The public prosecutor this week described Akwasis words as punishable, but decided to put the case against him on probation because he publicly distanced himself from his inflammatory words.
Yesterday it became clear that the public prosecutor who signed the decision not to prosecute Akwasi was on the board of the Meldpunt Discriminatie Regio Amsterdam until July of this year with a foreman from Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP).
MP Van Dam, who is a former officer of the CDA Justice and Security, writes on Twitter that he does not doubt the intentions within the Public Prosecution Service. “But the picture that emerges – around this polarised theme – is not a good one. A double rethink would be good,” he says.
In a subsequent tweet, he explains that by this he means that the Public Prosecutors Office for the benefit of society will have to re-evaluate the case legally, even if that will not change the outcome. In addition, the Public Prosecutor should reconsider her position as a member of the Meldpunt Discriminatie Regio Amsterdam (Complaints Bureau for Discrimination Region Amsterdam), said Van Dam.
Incidentally, it is unclear whether the officer in question, Jacobien Vreekamp, is still connected to the hotline at all. Yesterday, however, it was announced that she had stepped down as chairman of the hotline in July, at the same time as board member Mitchell Esajas, who regularly acted as spokesperson for KOZP last year.
Yesterday, the Public Prosecutors Office did not want to go into any further questions about the relationship between Vreekamp and Esajas and about Vreekamps independence. “We would like to stress that this decision was taken in close consultation with the Public Prosecutors Office and other officers”, a spokesman said. “So she did not do it on her own. It has been fully coordinated and this guarantees it”
PVV leader Wilders, among others, announced that he was going to ask Prime Minister Rutte for clarification. Via Twitter, he had previously reacted furiously to the decision of the Public Prosecution Service not to prosecute Akwasi. Today, MP Maarten Groothuizen of government party D66 accused Wilders of throwing mud at the constitutional state once more for electoral reasons. “The Member of Parliament who was not punished complains loudly about a case in which someone was not punished either”, according to Groothuizen.
The VVD coalition party does not want to respond to the case, because the Public Prosecution Service is independent. The Ministry of Justice and Security also does not want to respond and refers to the Public Prosecution Service.