- Category: News
- Created on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 16:01
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
The public prosecutor’s office (Openbaar Ministerie) has concluded that Albert Drent had no knowledge of the activities of Robert M. at Het Hofnarretje, in Amsterdam, between February 2007 and June 2009.
Parents of children who attended the nursery had been campaigning for Drent to be held responsible for failing to stop M., who has admitted abusing more than 80 children. In a statement released through their lawyer they called the outcome “incomprehensible”.
The OM reopened the investigation in April this year after Richard Korver, representing some 60 families, filed a complaint over the decision not to pursue Drent as a suspect.
Drent was sharply criticised in a report by an independent commission into the case, which found that he had “not taken responsibility for investigating these incidents adequately or in combination.”
In response to today’s decision, Korver posted a statement on his website which said: “As far as they [the families] are concerned this decision is essentially an extended repetition of the position the OM took up before the complaint was filed.”
He said many families believed Drent’s role had not been adequately investigated and it was unclear whether the former director had been interviewed as a witness or a suspect. Drent has repeatedly denied having any knowledge of the incidents.
“It is equally unclear if the investigators took possession of computers or other items belonging to the former director,” Korver sald.
In April a spokesman for the public prosecutor said: “The abuse by Robert M. was so specific and particular to individuals that it could not be picked up by third parties.”
M., 28, is the main suspect in a group of 11 men in the Netherlands who are accused of sharing thousands of indecent images of children on the internet. Three men have also been arrested in the United States, one of whom was later jailed for 22 years.
The investigation began when one of the American suspects was found with 27,000 illegal images on his computer, one of which showed Robert M. M. is due to stand trial in the new year. Under Dutch media law defendants in criminal trials cannot be identified by their full names.
Korver said he was investigating whether he could take further court action to challenge the OM’s decision not to prosecute Drent.