Netherlands: Muslim schools not to be prosecuted

Netherlands: Muslim schools not to be prosecuted

The public prosecution will not deal with a complaint by State Secretary Sharon Dijksma (Education) against the Stichting Islamitische Scholen Helmond (Helmond Foundation of Muslim Schools). The investigation of the facts did show irregularities, but they do not warrant a criminal investigation, a spokesperson for the fraud department in justice said Wednesday.

Justice thinks that the State Secretary has sufficient means to act against the school administration, which is estimated to have wrongly spent more than 900,000 euro of subsidies. Half of the sum was used, according to the State Secretary, for self-payment and compensation for phantom-workers. Justice recognized that the money was not spent as it was intended to be, but a spokesperson says there is no issue of 'grave self-enrichment'.

In response the State Secretary said Wednesday she will respect the decision.

Two years ago Dijksma lodged a complaint of fraud against the association. She managed to fire two of the school administration via a court case. It was the first time that the ministry took this far-reaching step against a school.

A lawsuit to get back the money from the people who got it is still ongoing. The then school administration is challenging the claim and says that at most 200,000 euro was badly spent.

Last year Dijksma reported to parliament that 90% of Muslim schools are playing around with subsidy money. At the time she estimated that 5 million euro were wrongly spent.

Source: Trouw (Dutch)

See also:
* Rotterdam: School suspected of financial abuse
* Amsterdam: Dijksma against As-Siddieq school

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