The public prosecutor who signed the decision not to prosecute rapper and actor Akwasi sat on the board of the Meldpunt Discriminatie Regio Amsterdam (MDRA) until July of this year with a foreman from Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP). She was chairman there, confirms current MRDA chairman Denise Eikelenboom, on Twitter after messages about it on the internet.
It was announced yesterday that Akwasi will not be punished for his statement at the Black Lives Matter demonstration in Amsterdam on 1 July. “The moment I see a Black Pete in November, I personally kick him in the face”, he said. According to the Public Prosecutors Office, that ruling was inflammatory and punishable. Yet he will not be prosecuted because he has publicly distanced himself from it.
The signature on that decision is that of Public Prosecutor Jacobien Vreekamp, who was MDRA President until July. A publicist and criminologist, Mitchell Esajas, was also a member of the board at the time and resigned at the same time as Vreekamp that month. Last year, Esajas was a regular spokesman for the Kick Out Black Pete action group.
Not on her own
The Public Prosecution does not want to answer questions about the relationship between Vreekamp and Esajas and about Vreekamps independence. “We want to emphasise that this decision was taken in close consultation with the public prosecutors office and other officers,” says a spokesman. “So she did not do this on her own. It has been fully coordinated and it is therefore guaranteed
PVV leader Wilders announces that he will ask Prime Minister Rutte for clarification this week.
Yesterday, professor of criminal law Sven Brinkhoff (Open University) said in response to the dismissal decision that there was a very good chance that the case would still appear in court. In that case, one of the 44 people who have filed a complaint will have to file a complaint under Article 12 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. This happened, for example, in the first criminal proceedings against PVV leader Geert Wilders, more than ten years ago.
He does not blame the signatory officer for being chairman of the MDRA and dealing with a KOZP foreman there. If she specialises in discrimination cases, it may even be a good thing, because she then has a better idea of what is going on in society, he says.
In hindsight, it may be awkward to have her signature on it, says Brinkhoff. “People who are angry about the OMs decision not to punish Akwasi can see confirmation that this was not a pure decision