Dutch Justice Minister denounces intimidation

Dutch Minister of Justice Ernst Hirsch Ballin denounced any form of threats against any person and stated on Tuesday that the security of Dutch Member of Parliament Hero Brinkman of the Party for Freedom PVV had his attention.

In a letter to the Chairperson of the Dutch Second Chamber, responding to questions by PVV leader and Member of Parliament (MP) Geert Wilders, the Minister said he had taken note of the quotes in various media about the threat against Brinkman by a senior government official in Aruba.

Aruba’s Chief of Protocol Eric Brete told Brinkman on Monday that he had to restrain himself not to beat up the Dutch Member of Parliament. Brinkman had called Aruba’s government "corrupt as hell" in an interview with the American TV channel FoxNews. Aruba’s Justice Minister Rudy Croes stated in response that Brinkman deserved a "smash in the face."

Hirsch Ballin said he could not trace whether the quotes in the media were correct. But, he added, "Threatening with violence is unacceptable, no matter who voices this threat."  

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Wilders had asked about protection for Brinkman who was in Aruba to attend the Parliamentary Consultation of the Kingdom POK. Hirsch Ballin said Brinkman’s security situation had his attention, but he didn’t specify how the MP would be protected.

Answering Wilders’ question whether the Dutch Government would consider demanding the resignation of Rudy Croes, to whom the PVV leader referred as a "dangerous fool," Hirsch Ballin said the appointment or resignation of an Aruban Minister was an "internal affair."

Hirsch Ballin explained that within the Kingdom of the Netherlands there were three autonomous countries: the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. The Netherlands doesn’t become involved the appointment or resignation of members of government in Aruba.