Former judges Hans Westenberg and Pieter Kalbfleisch will be prosecuted for perjury. They lied in the investigation of the Chipshol case, as it is known, the Public Prosecutor’s Office said Friday.
Westenberg is accused of having lied three times (in 2006 and 2010) under oath. Kalbfleisch is being sued for two cases of perjury, both in 2010. He is a prominent lawyer and was until April last year chairman of the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa).
As far as is known, this is the first time ever in the Netherlands that a judge has been prosecuted for perjury. The case will be heard in the district court in Utrecht in the second half of April.
Kalbfleisch and Westenberg were both vice-presidents of the district court in The Hague. In the 1990s, Kalbfleisch arranged that Westenberg handle a dispute between Chipshol and a minority shareholder in the company. This shareholder, like Westenberg, was a friend of Kalbfleisch. Westenberg found in favour of the minority shareholder, Harry van Andel.
As a result of a court verdict by Westenberg, the company Chipshol, which owned expensive building land around Schiphol airport, had to give up a substantial portion of its control of Chipshol to Harry van Andel. Chipshol director Peter Poot has been alleging since 1993 that the two judges deliberately frustrated his company. Recently, a clerk of the court came out with a statement confirming his story. This woman is an ex-partner of Kalbfleisch.
Chipshol Presses Charges Against the State of the Netherlands at the European Court of Human Rights
SCHIPHOL-RIJK, the Netherlands, July 28, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — The Dutch land development and investment company Chipshol is pressing charges against the State of the Netherlands at the European Court of Human Rights. As the largest private sector party in the region of Schiphol, Chipshol has been unlawfully obstructed by Schiphol and the State of the Netherlands for fifteen years. This has prevented the development of various Chipshol business parks. A construction ban was unlawfully declared for one terrain in 2003. As Schiphol refused to pay compensation, Chipshol started an action for damages. Partly due to the replacement, in 2007, of three Haarlem judges, who had ordered Schiphol to pay for all damages in 2005, there has not been a fair trial.
Chipshol, founded in 1986, is the only large private land development and investment company in the Schiphol region with in 1995 land holdings of almost 600 hectares. Proposals to cooperate were continuously refused by Schiphol, in response the airport started its own real estate company: Schiphol Real Estate. From that time on, Schiphol attempted to obstruct the development of Chipshol business parks with the support of all government organisations involved in project development. As a consequence not only the airport, but also the Air Traffic Control the Netherlands and the province of North Holland have been ordered to pay damages to Chipshol.
The legal action at the European Court of Human Rights focuses on a 30 hectare Chipshol terrain adjacent to the airport. Chipshol wishes to establish a sizeable logistical business park. But the CEO of Schiphol, Mr Cerfontaine, arranged a construction ban with the ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management. This was partly based on a manipulated report of Air Traffic Control the Netherlands [Dutch acronym LVNL]. Air Traffic Control the Netherlands was ordered to pay damages to Chipshol by the Court of Amsterdam on 15 December 2009. Earlier, on 12 January 2005, the court of Haarlem had ordered Schiphol to pay damages to Chipshol because of the unjust construction ban.
Shortly before determining the exact amount of compensation, all three judges were replaced toward the end of the case, in early 2007. The new judges then determined an extremely low level of compensation of 16 million Euro, while Chipshol estimates the actual damages at almost 100 million Euro. The court was advised on this issue by an expert commission which was subsequently revealed to have close ties with Schiphol et al.
According to CEO Peter Poot of Chipshol, there has not been a fair trial since the replacement of the three judges: “Fundamental legal principles have now been violated in the Netherlands. This is why we are going to the European Court of Human Rights.” In a separate procedure, Chipshol wishes to reconstruct why, and by whom, the judges were replaced at the time, through a witness examination of six judges under oath.
The land development and investment company was recently able to enforce a witness examination under oath of six (former) judges in The Hague about the role of a vice-president of the Court of The Hague in the case. A controversial judgement by judge Mr J. Westenberg prevented Chipshol from competing with Schiphol Real Estate, the airport’s Real Estate company, for many years and caused it to lose approximately 450 hectares of land in the Schiphol region. It subsequently transpired that Westenberg was closely related to Chipshol’s opponents, including the airport’s lawyer, Mr T.R.B. de Greve. Westenberg took early retirement and is now suspected of offences including perjury, conflict of interest and corruption. The National Police Internal Investigations Department is investigating his actions. In November, Westenberg will be examined under oath by Chipshol together with other (ex) members of the head of The Hague Court, a unique case by Dutch standards.
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