The Kasem issue affects the core value of the legal profession

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The Dutch Association of Criminal Lawyers has reacted with concern to the news about Khalid Kasem. The talk show host is said to have tried to bribe a civil servant in the past, when he was a criminal lawyer. Chairman Dennis Wolters speaks of a very serious matter, because the integrity of lawyers is at stake.

“And then of course you are also dealing with a criminal offense,” Wolters says NOS Radio 1 News. “Maybe the Public Prosecution Service will also conduct an investigation, but I certainly expect an investigation from the dean of the Bar Association in the first instance.” Wolters emphasizes that nothing has been set in stone yet. “But it is a serious allegation, and we are following it closely.”

When asked, the dean of the Amsterdam Bar Association stated that he would indeed initiate an investigation. Not much of substance can be expected from this in the short term. “Given confidentiality, no announcements will be made in principle about the content and outcome of that investigation,” the order said in a short statement.

Peter R. de Vries

During his career as a lawyer, Kasem is said to have bribed an official of the Judicial Institutions Service to obtain an early release for a client. He is said to have told this in 2019 to Peter R. de Vries, with whom he had a law firm at the time. According to it AD, which exposed the issue yesterday, De Vries recorded conversations with Kasem about this. Kasem himself denies and says the conversations are being misinterpreted.

The newspaper says it recently received those conversations. Although the recordings may have been obtained unlawfully, the editorial staff of the AD has decided to publish the content because of its great social importance.

The conversations also show that bribery takes place on an ongoing basis within the legal profession. Wolters finds that hard to believe. “I dare to doubt that. In any case, I am not aware of any case where something like this has happened before,” said Wolters. “But let the dean of the Bar Association investigate that too.”

Royce de Vries

At that time, Royce de Vries worked with his father and Khalid Kasem in the office in Amsterdam. “At the time, we were confronted with the story that Khalid allegedly bribed an official. It has not been established that bribery actually took place. In general, the story seemed very unlikely to us, also based on other information we had at our disposal. Afterwards, Khalid repeatedly denied to me that he was guilty of bribery.”

Also research at the Judicial Institutions Service

The highest boss of the prison system, Wim Saris, is shocked by the news, he said last night in the radio program The Crime Bureau from broadcaster WNL. “This was also an unknown story for us and it is clear that there should be no doubt whatsoever about the integrity of our staff. We will also investigate this further.”

He says that he is not naive: “When I see how crime is developing, it is certainly a scenario that we also take into account. But of course we do everything we can to prevent it.”

Kasem has been suspended from his job as a TV talk show host due to the accusation Khalid & Sophie laid down. The program will move to the late evening in September, it was announced at the beginning of last month.

The post first appeared on nos.nl

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