This is one of the biggest scandals in recent Dutch history. One could call Fred Spijkers the Dutch Don Quixote in his long and bitter fight against the apparent injustice done toward him by the State.
Source: RADIO NETHERLANDS WORLDWIDE 18 April 2008 -
Whistle-blower finds support in royal circlesPieter van Vollenhoven analyzes problems rationally. And sometimes he meets criticism with a touch of humour and self-knowledge. He has a really independent mind and isn't afraid to put blame where it belongs. In the letter the state-secretary for Defence was urged to request Professor mr Pieter van Vollenhoven to act as mediator; the Dutch government still has to approve his offer to help Mr Spijkers.
Pieter van Vollenhoven, husband of one of Queen Beatrix's sisters [Princess Margriet, shown in the photograph with Van Vollenhoven], wants to act as a mediator in the case of the whistle-blower Fred Spijkers. He says Mr Spijkers is a courageous man, who he gladly wants to help.
Almost twenty-five years ago, Mr Spijkers prevented a Ministry of Defence cover-up after the deaths of eight soldiers. The eight were killed by landmines with fatal design error in the detonating mechanism. At the time, Fred Spijkers, who was a social worker for the Ministry of Defence, refused to tell the widow of one of the soldiers that his death was caused by his own carelessness. As a result of his action, Mr Spijkers still faces problems with his income, pension and tax assessments today. Several parliamentary parties [Labour, Socialists, GreenLeft, Christian Union , the progressive liberals (D66) and MP Verdonk] have called for these problems to be resolved before the summer.
The Ministry of Defence was aware of the faulty detonating mechanism as early as 1970. But it was only admitted by Defence Minister Joris Voorhoeve in 1997.