WASHINGTON, April 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Lucas Hartong, a Dutch Member of the European Parliament, met last week with human rights students at Georgetown Law School, organized by the student President Stephanie Redfield, to discuss charges of child sex abuse against the former Secretary General of the Dutch Ministry of Justice and the lack of an official investigation into these charges by the government of the Netherlands.
MEP Hartong explained how he became involved in the Demmink case after Christian Ehlers, the Chair of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with the United States, received a letter from U.S. Representatives Joseph Pitts (R-PA), Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Chris Smith (R-NJ), suggesting that the Netherlands was at risk of becoming a "weak link" in the global fight against child sexual abuse due to the lack of a formal investigation into the charges against Mr. Demmink.
Upon further inquiries, Mr. Hartong learned that any investigation of Mr. Demmink's behavior in Turkey, where two of the victims have filed charges of sex abuse, rests on the determination of the dates that Demmink was in Turkey. The Dutch government and the Netherlands Embassy in the U.S. have repeatedly claimed that all documentation during the time in question was burned in a fire, and that no records remain.
This January, Mr. Hartong brought written questions to the floor of the European Parliament in an attempt to get the dates of Mr. Demmink's travel to Turkey. The parliamentary procedure called "tabling" is a formal request for information and requires a written response from the EP in three weeks. Months passed, with no response. In February, Mr. Hartong was informed that his questions would be discussed at a meeting of the General Affairs Council of the Council of Ministers that is comprised of 27 member states. Mr. Hartong was invited to the discussion. However, upon his arrival at the meeting, he was summarily threatened by arrest and escorted out. Last week, Mr. Hartong received an oddly worded response to his questions that failed to provide any travel information about Mr. Demmink and Turkey.