Turkish Victims Ask Netherlands Court to Prosecute Dutch Justice Ministry Secretary General Joris Demmink
AMSTERDAM, Oct.25, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Two Turkish men who previously pressed charges against Secretary General Joris. Demmink of the Ministry of Justice for rape and sexual abuse of minors (i.e. children under sixteen years of age), lodged an appeal to the Court of Justice in the Hague on October 24 requesting that Demmink be indicted.
The two men, Mustafa Y. and Osman B., had been victims of Demmink themselves. When they were 12- and 14-years-old, the victims have testified that Turkish police had lured them to a hotel room where Demmink raped them. In September 2008 and May 2010, the victims officially reported the crime to the National Public Prosecution Service in Rotterdam. After Mustafa Y. pressed charges in 2008, he has been repeatedly harassed and mistreated in Turkey by a former senior police officer so that he will drop the charges against Demmink. Osman has also been accosted, in hopes that he will drop the charges.
In February 2012, the National Public Prosecution Service communicated to Osman B. that Demmink would not be prosecuted, because his statement was deemed too unreliable and it could not be confirmed that Demmink had been in Turkey during the time when the sexual abuse was alleged to have occurred. The National Public Prosecution Service has informed Mustafa Y. that it will not launch an investigation into his charges as long as he refuses to travel to the Netherlands to explain his allegations.
Both victims are opposed to this decision.
Mustafa Y. informed the Court that the National Public Prosecution Service's refusal to investigate his claim is in violation of the Lanzarote Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. This Treaty clearly states that prosecution of sexual abuse should never be made dependent on the fact of whether charges were filed or not.
Osman B. criticizes the fact that the National Public Prosecution Service has limited itself to a "exploratory" review of the charges. Such an investigation provides no opportunity for instituting coercive measures rooted in criminal law, such as recording witnesses accounts and testimony in Turkey.
There is plenty of supporting evidence available, according to both victims. Both men have identified Mehmet Korkmaz as the policeman who brought them to Demmink, while Korkmaz himself stated in a video interview that he had brought Mustafa and other boys to Demmink for sexual abuse. Korkmaz's then boss, the former police chief of Istanbul, confirmed that his police protected Demmink during his visits to Turkey during the 1990s. In a report, the senior Turkish security officer Huseyin Celebi describes Demminks' vulnerability to blackmail after he was caught engaging in child abuse in 1995 in Turkey. Celebi also laid out the dates from 1990s during which Demmink had visited Turkey. These dates cover the period mentioned in both police reports. The Dutch National Public Prosecution Service additionally received a similar list of dates of Demmink entering the country from the Governor of Istanbul. The dates indicated on the list match directly to the visit to Ankara from the EU K4 Committee, a European committee in which Demmink had represented the Netherlands. The National Public Prosecution Service completely skipped over this supporting evidence.
For these reasons, Osman B. calls the investigation made into his charges a direct "cover-up"', where the presented evidence of five Turkish witnesses and two official Turkish documents has been systematically ignored.
Two new witnesses
The National Public Prosecution Service claims to have investigated Demmink's travels from the 1990s, but that this had not yielded any confirmation of Demmink's visits to Turkey at that time. Demmink himself denies having traveled to Turkey during those years. Both victims are questioning what the State Department of Criminal Investigation has withheld from this investigation, now that it appears all documentation regarding these trips has been destroyed. In any case, it is clear that the Turkish sources that directly contradict Demmink's denial are not involved in the investigation.
Involved to an even lesser extent is the National Public Prosecution Service's investigation that Demmink represented the Netherlands as Director-General of International Affairs and Foreign Affairs (between 1993 and 2002) in the secretive K4 Committee of the European Union. In this capacity, Demmink was especially entrusted with the Kurds' file. The notion that Demmink did not participate in the various secret K4 Committee meetings in Turkey concerning closing off European borders to Kurdish refugees fleeing Northern Iraq, must be deemed extremely implausible. Recently, there have been two new Turkish witnesses reported in this case. One of them declares to have met Demmink through work during the K4 visit to Ankara in 1998. A second witness declared to have met him personally during an Interpol meeting in Antalya in 1996.
Above the law?
For the victims, Demmink is apparently above the law in the Netherlands. Dutch Minister Ivo Opstelten apparently agrees that Demmink is above the law as well. Responding to an article from October 6, 2012 in the Algemeen Dagblad concerning new allegations the Secretary-General made regarding child abuse, Minister Opstelten, without actually investigating these new allegations further, immediately responded that "there appears to be no grounds for truth to the allegations".
The complaints filed by Osman B. and Mustafa Y. can be downloaded here: http://www.bs-foundation.nl/site/wp-content/media_en_files/2012/10/beklag-art.-12-namens-O.B.-24.10.2012.pdf and http://www.bs-foundation.nl/site/wp-content/media_en_files/2012/10/beklag-art.-12-namens-M.Y.-24.10.2012.pdf .
Hearing in the US
The apparent unwillingness of the Netherlands to criminally investigate the charges the victims filed against Joris Demmink has also been submitted to the U.S. Helsinki Commission. This Commission of the U.S. State Department monitors the protection of human rights by countries party to the OSCE, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
The committee briefing ( http://www.csce.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContentRecords.ViewDetail&ContentRecord_id=531&ContentType=H ,B&ContentRecordType=B&CFID=9193995&CFTOKEN=44159500) in which a Dutch delegation testified on the issue, including the legal counsel for Turkish men and a Dutch victim of Joris Demmink, took place on October 4, 2012 in Washington DC. The committee chairman Christopher H. Smith stressed during the hearing that:
"The sex trafficking and abuse of children is one of the most despicable, violent crimes on earth - shattering the lives of the victims and their families - a crime from which the victims struggle for a lifetime to recover,"
He warned that:
"The traffickers and abusers rely on their ability to frighten a child into silence or the reluctance of adults to listen when children speak. They also use their own reputations, standing, or power in the community to prevent allegations from being properly considered and investigated."
The hearing focused on the question of how a legal system should respond to reports of child abuse and honed in on cases like the one Osman B. and Mustafa Y. were bringing against Joris Demmink, against whom all accusations seem to be ignored by Dutch authorities
Smith ended the hearing with the words: "Finally, I am the special representative for the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. I do think it is my job in that capacity to raise these issues."
For more information on the allegations against Joris Demmink, please visit: www.ArrestDemmink.com .