Saturday, November 27, 2010

Netherlands: Report uncovers criminal past of five MPs of Dutch anti-Islam party

Source: IRNA

As many as seven members of the new Dutch parliament, among them five from the anti-Islam People's Party for Freedom (PVV), have criminal records, Dutch television reported on Friday.

The RTL-Nieuws survey of members of parliament came in the wake of recent media revelations of the alleged criminal pasts of PVV lawmakers Eric Lucassen, Jhim van Bemmel, James Sharpe, Hero Brinkman, Marcial Hernandez and two legislators from other parties.

Their convictions reportedly range from fraud and drunk driving to sex delicts over the last decade.

PVV leader Geert Wilders was quoted by the ANP news agency as saying he was 'totally sick' of the media for focusing on MPs from his party and would no longer comment on individual cases.

'This digging around in the past of PVV MPs is beginning to seem like a vulgar witch-hunt,' the Islamophobic lawmaker said.

Van Bemmel has a 2006 conviction for forging freight documents and a drunk driving conviction dating back to 2000, the daily De Volkskrant reported.

The MP, who has been stripped of some of his duties by Wilders, reportedly said he had not gone public about his past crimes because 'it was a private issue'.

According to the RTL-Nieuws survey, Lucassen was convicted of illicit sexual acts with a subordinate when he was an army instructor.

Meanwhile, Brinkman has also a conviction for drunk driving going back to 2001, ANP said.

In addition, Sharpe was found guilty in 2008 of fraud involving text messaging
services, while Hernandez is presently facing assault charges.