Grapperhaus: too little evidence for prosecution leaks from Council of Ministers

An initial investigation into the leak of minutes from the Council of Ministers by Ministers or MPs to RTL News has not produced sufficient evidence to prosecute. That concludes demissionary Minister Grapperhaus for Justice and Security.

According to the law, Grapperhaus must decide whether it makes sense to carry out further investigation and prosecution, as this is a potential criminal offence.

But Grapperhaus does not think it makes sense, because the Attorney General of the Supreme Court says that a further investigation โ€œwill not be guaranteed to lead to clarificationโ€, also because RTL journalists are allowed to protect their sources. In other words, the perpetrator is very hard to figure out.

Highly Exceptional

RTL reported on April 21 that ministers in the Council of Ministers had spoken critically about MPs committed to the allowance affair, including CDA MP Pieter Omtzigt. For example, CDA Minister Hoekstra had tried to โ€œraise awarenessโ€ to bring him to reason. Other MPs were called activist. RTL took these texts from the secret minutes of the Council of Ministers.

The cabinet decided to publish these minutes on a one-off basis. Prime Minister Rutte also announced it was reporting the leak. The fact that the minutes of the Council of Ministers were published is extremely exceptional. These pieces will normally remain secret for 25 years.

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The Attorney General started an investigation after the declaration. His conclusion is that it is not ruled out that a minister or MP leaked the pieces. It seems more likely to him that one or more ministers leaked than a member of parliament from the committee investigating the payment affair. But he also thinks the perpetrator is very hard to track down.

The House of Representatives may still decide that further investigation and prosecution are needed.