Ruling party VVD “opposition creates smokescreen by asking critical questions’

Former Dutch member of Parliament for the ruling party VVD, Ybeltje Berckmoes, revealed in her book  the inner workings of the political scene in the Hague. The book titled ‘Voorlichting loopt met u mee tot het ravijn‘ which was released this week also reveals how VVD member Han ten Broeke reacted to the critical questions by CDA Pieter Omtzigt on MH17.

Ten Broeke was angry about the critical attitude of Omtzigt. To him it was not critics but obstruction. “Some members of the opposition are very skilled in creating mist and point fingers to the government. Opposition shed the picture as if there were a lot of shady things going on. ” according the book.

Before the debate on radar recordings in februari 2016 Ten Broeke stated “opposition will use the debate to create smokescreens. We need to counter this”.

In a May 2017 plenary debate PM Rutte accused Pieter Omtzigt of using MH17 for political gain.

I wrote a blogpost about the debate the book refers to. In this debate the Minister of Security and Justice stated that the Dutch Public Prosecution Service had told the minister no additional radar recordings were required. However there is no written statement (ambtsbericht ) by the Dutch prosecutor confirming there is no need for radar images. Surprisingly later in 2016 Dutch prosecutor went to Moscow to request radar data. Indeed the prosecutor got radar data. First in non-standard format. Later Russia handed over the radar data in ASTERIX format. However radar recordings of a second radar antenna in Russia were never handed over.

The author of the book then continues with her opinion:

You wonder how it will be with the cooperation if VVD, CDA and D66 are in a government together and the announced Dutch trial will really take place. But unfortunately, I think, with many, that the MH17 file will  be moved to a distant future. I do not see any progress to leave no stone unturned.

Long list of suspicious behaviour

Omtzigt is right in his critical questions is proven by this long list. It shows behaviour of the Dutch government which does not look like a ‘we leave no stone unturned’ policy. For example Dutch government does not release information which could lead to information about what has been agreed between the Ukraine and Dutch government. Multiple court cases have been started by Dutch media to force government to release documents. In cases Dutch government delays, and then objects, to gain time.

The complete paragraph on MH17 in the book  is here :

Wat niemand buiten de kleine fractiekring wist, was dat VVD-woordvoerder Han ten Broeke intern zeer verbolgen was over de kritische houding van D66 en CDA ten aanzien van het onderzoek.
Voor hem was het geen kritiek, maar obstructie van deze partijen. In april 2015 liet Ten Broek al eens aan de fractie weten: “Hoe langer de onderzoeken naar MH17 duren, hoe groter de vragen worden bij de oppositie. Sommige leden van de opositie zijn er buitengewoon bekwaam in geworden om veel mist te creeren en vervolgens met de beschuldigende vinger naar het kabinet te wijzen. Zij werpen het beeld op alsof er allerlei schimmige zaken aan de hand zijn”.
En in februari 2016 zei hij nog eens in de fractievergadering voorafgaand aan weer een debat over MH17: “de oppositie zal dit debat gebruiken om rookgordijnen op te werpen. Vooral Omtzigt is hier heel bedreven in, gevolg door Sjoerdsma en Bontes. Aan ons de taal om dit tegen te gaan”.

Je vraagt je af hoe dat zal gaan met de samenwerking als VVD, CDA en D66 samen in een regering zitten en de aangekondigde Nederlandse rechtzaak echt gaan plaatsvinden. Maar helaas denk ik, met velen, dat het MH17 dossier maar een verre toekomst verschoven zal worden. Ik zie die onderste steen niet meer boven komen.

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