Scandal at The Hague
By Richard W. Carlson
Published: Saturday, March 30, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
A significant political scandal is moving toward explosion in the Netherlands. The story behind it is so vile, and the Dutch government cover-up so energetic, that its broad exposure could cause the International Court of Justice, the primary judicial organ of the United Nations, to leave The Hague.
The court's building is an imposing edifice in a fenced, parklike setting, home to 15 judges. Nearby, amidst more Gothic architecture, sits the Netherlands' Ministry of Security and Justice.
In mushy Dutch political language, a ministry website states that their thousands of employees are “working toward a safer, more just society by giving people legal protection and, where necessary, intervening in their lives. ... The law is about people.”
This high-hat statement comes from a Justice Ministry led until recently by an alleged sexual predator — Joris Demmink. The quiet, balding, bespectacled bachelor was secretary-general of the Ministry of Security and Justice and commander of the National Police until he retired at age 65, with full benefits and official praise at a lavish dinner, just four months ago.
For 30 years, Demmink was one of the highest-ranking law enforcement officers in the Netherlands, a perfect position from which to keep secret his alleged hobby of molesting young boys, sometimes as part of an organized group of EU pedophiles.
A resolution pending on Capitol Hill would ban Demmink from ever entering the United States and would move the International Court of Justice out of the Netherlands.
Demmink, however, is a friend of the powerful, including the Dutch royal family. The Netherlands' Queen Beatrix's personal lawyer is particularly close to Demmink. He and the royal family would have to be aware of the detailed allegations going back to the 1990s, when Demmink was director general for International Affairs and Immigration for the Netherlands, and was accused of raping a 14-year-old homeless child in Turkey.
Demmink is believed to have preyed on poor and homeless boys in the Netherlands and other EU countries, particularly Turkey, for years, using the power and perquisites of his elite office — limousines, bodyguards, drivers and policemen to procure boys for sexual use.
There have been some strong calls to investigate Demmink, including a multipage resolution asking the United States to support removing the International Court from The Hague. The resolution is a catalogue of horrors, detailing the alleged molestations of three boys.
A videotaped statement from a Turkish police officer, Mehmet Korkmaz, in charge of security on three of Demmink's visits to Istanbul between 1995 and 1997, said that he was ordered to pick up young “street boys” and bring them to Demmink for sexual abuse.
The Netherlands Embassy in Washington says there is no proof of any of these allegations. That's not surprising, since neither the young boys, nor the policemen, nor INTERPOL officers have ever been interviewed by Dutch authorities.
Richard W. Carlson is a former U.S. ambassador to the Seychelles and the former director of the Voice of America.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Host of Steelers veterans look toward career survival mode
- Steelers film session: Polamalu not at fault on long run
- Early-morning snowstorm hampers Western Pa. commuters
- Pirates notebook: Huntington narrows team’s offseason targets
- Young defensemen lift Penguins to win
- Expert: KO doesn’t mean ‘worst’ concussion for Pens’ Orpik
- UPMC doctor killed trying to help at 50-vehicle pileup
- ‘Sound of Music’ actress Eleanor Parker dies at 91
- Monroeville police officer kills man in shootout
- Penguins’ Neal suspended five games for Marchand hit
- Pirates will shop while starting pitcher Burnett makes his decision