VVD MP clashes with D66 minister about lifelong plans


NOS NewsWednesday, 12:45Amended Wednesday, 12:50 PM

The ruling party VVD is not pleased with statements by Minister Weerwind for Legal Protection about life imprisonment. Weerwind, from D66, says in an interview with the AD that we will have to get used to the fact that lifelong prisoners will be released more often after a reassessment of their sentence. MP Ulysse Ellian of the VVD reacted furiously on Twitter:


Ellian’s angry tweet

This morning the House of Representatives discussed the cabinet plans with life imprisonment. The core of this is that no longer the minister, but a judge after 25 years must assess whether someone can still be released. Weatherwind finds that purer. He wants to prevent political pressure from influencing the decision.

The tweet of VVD member Ellian went wrong with Joost Sneller of coalition partner D66. He called it “raunchy and constitutionally dubious”. He demanded that Ellian take back his tweet or else file a no-confidence motion against Weerwind. Ellian said he did not see the constitutional component. “I think I should go have a cup of coffee with Mr. Sneller in a moment to clear the air.”

After that cup of coffee, Ellian sent another tweet, expressing regret:

Ellian will also soon have a cup of coffee with Weerwind, because the minister was personally touched by the MP’s tweet. “I found it shocking, insinuating and it hurt me,” he said during the debate.


Nevertheless, the VVD member continues to criticize the minister’s words. He said in the AD that the interests of victims and relatives must weigh heavily in the decision to release a serious criminal. But Weerwind questions the argument that surviving relatives also have a life sentence. “I totally understand that. It’s the heaviest crime you can think of. It’s an opinion, we have to take it into account. But it’s an opinion.”

“I don’t understand how you can say it’s ‘an opinion’ that bereaved families have life,” Ellian said. He received support from Joost Eerdmans of JA21 and Raymond Knops of the CDA.

“It is a strange thought that the Dutch have to get used to the fact that people who have done very bad things are released,” said Knops. “My first thought was that the minister took the D66 slogan ‘Let everyone free, but no one fall’ a little too literally.” The interview “didn’t quite go down the right way” for Knops.

In the House, Minister Weerwind acknowledged that he is making a “drastic” proposal. In the elaboration, the interests of the victims and next of kin must be carefully considered. They must be treated very carefully. Various parties drew attention to them. certainty that they will never meet the perpetrator again.

But a reassessment is no guarantee of release, the minister argued. If someone does not meet the conditions, they will simply remain incarcerated. If a decision is nevertheless made to release, it must be transparent and properly explained.