The Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) suspects the 49-year-old man of having renovations done to his home on the university’s dime. According to the OM, through Hans G., Von H. charged 7,000 euros to his former employer.
But the district court stated that that could not be proven. ‘It is highly unlikely that we could rule on this matter. There is insufficient criminal evidence of corruption by the suspect in his function as a public sector employee’, says the judge.
According to the district court, many witness statements indicated that the former manager was unaware of the fraud. ‘There are indications that your behaviour was not in keeping with the official code of conduct, but that is not the same as evidence of criminal activity’, the judge stated. Von H. left the courtroom with tears in his eyes.
An officer of the OM made known that the department is unhappy with the district court’s decision. They had hoped to further investigate Von H.’s involvement. Whether the Public Prosecution will appeal the decision is not yet known.
There are eight suspects in the fraud case altogether. Prime suspect Hans G. is considered by the OM to be the brains of the operation. In late January, he was taken from his bed by the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigative Service. He is suspected of official corruption, money laundering and forgery.
His wife, son, daughter-in-law and former secretary are also suspects in the case. According to the Public Prosecutor (OM), Hans G. asked installation and construction companies to grant him favours or to funnel money to him outside of official channels in exchange for maintenance contracts at the university.
‘His wife would never pay for groceries with a card, she always paid with an envelope full of cash’, the prosecutor told the court on Monday. She is also suspected of money laundering. An investigation determined that roughly 1.1 million euros have been embezzled from the university. ‘But I imagine that the actual total is even higher’, according to the prosecutor.
A firearm and weapons were found in the possession of Jan J., former head of the one of the companies suspected of involvement in the fraud case. Among others, J. is suspected of creating ‘bogus positions’ for Hans G.’s son and daughter-in-law. Via a shady construct, their wages were ultimately paid by the university.
For quite some time, Jan J. disappeared without a trace. It now seems that he is residing in Spain. The business man has yet to comment on the case, citing his right to remain silent. He says that he will only speak about the matter once the investigations in the case are completed.
The case will be heard in court at some point in 2017. The district court expects the hearing to last several days.
The UK published an in-depth reconstruction of the wide scale fraud case at the RUG earlier this year. The story – ‘Robbing the RUG’ – can be found here.