Dutch PM refuses to motivate why he does not want to make public MH17 interview reports

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Dutch journalist Pieter Klein, deputy editor-in-chief for Dutch RTL Nieuws, filed a Freedom of Information Request (Dutch Wet Openbaarheid Bestuur) requesting Prime Minister Rutte to release two sets of documents:

  1. minutes of meetings of Dutch cabinet meetings in july 2014
  2. an interview report of an interview between PM Rutte and Dutch Twente University. This interview was for ‘Evaluatie Nationale Crisisbeheersingsoperatie Vlucht MH17’

In a preliminary ruling by the Court Midden Holland (casenumber UTR 16/5602-T) the judge decided:

  1. the minutes of meetings do not have to be made public
  2. PM Rutte must better motivate why he does not want to make public the interview report at all.

    De rechtbank oordeelt over het gespreksverslag dat verweerder onvoldoende heeft gemotiveerd waarom hij dit verslag integraal heeft geweigerd openbaar te maken. Geen van de ingeroepen weigeringsgronden rechtvaardigt een integrale weigering van het gespreksverslag. Als verweerder verschillende weigeringsgronden wil toepassen, moet hij – volgens vaste rechtspraak – motiveren voor welke tekstgedeeltes welke weigeringsgrond van toepassing is. Dit heeft hij niet gedaan. De rechtbank doet een tussenuitspraak om verweerder in de gelegenheid te stellen de gebreken te herstellen.

    Translation: Dutch PM Rutte used multiple arguments for not having to make public the interview report. However in that case Rutte has to motivate for each of the text parts which arguments is used.

The court gave PM Rutte 2 weeks time to inform the court if Rutte was willing to adjust the motivation.

The court gave PM Rutte 4 weeks time to adjust his motivation.

In a letter dated April 18 2017 Ministry of Algemene Zaken of PM Rutte states that Minister will not correct the motivation on why he refuses to make public the interview report.

Photo below provided by RTL Pieter Klein via Twitter.

In a letter by the court Midden Holland dated April 25 the court lets RTL know that PM Rutte is not willing to adjust his motivation. RTL is given two weeks to respond.

Then the court will close the case and make the final decision. This can take six weeks at a maximum.

Photo below provided by RTL Pieter Klein via Twitter.

At May 2 2017 Pieter Klein of RTL made public via Twitter that Dutch State does not want to better motivate why it refuses to make public the interview report made by Universiteit Twente.

The case could then be forwarded to the Raad van State. If that is the case, the judgement of Raad van State can take about 1 year.

At September 7 the judge ruled Prime minister Rutte has 6 weeks time to decide. More info here.



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