Alongside the civil procedure, Johan Meijering filed several criminal complaints against the Van L. and his wife. This page will take a closer look at these criminal complaints, as well as the role of the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Meijering filed his first criminal complaint against the Van L. couple on August 16th, 2004. The complaint was for fraud (art. 326 Dutch Penal Code (Sr)), forgery (art. 225 Sr), and embezzlement (art. 321 Sr). After preliminary inquiries, the Public Prosecutor’s Office decided that, although they were convinced that the Van L. couple was guilty, there was a lack of evidence. Consequently, they decided not to file any criminal charges unless new facts would come to light. In reaction to this decision, Meijering wrote a letter of complaint to the District Attorney’s Office Assen. This letter was perceived as an article 12 complaint and was therefore referred to the Court of Appeal Leeuwarden. After hearing both Meijering and the Van L. couple, the court denied Meijering’s complaint based on lack of sufficiency and weight of evidence on January 22nd, 2007.
On August 19th of 2009, Meijering filed another criminal complaint against the Van L. couple. This time the complaint only included fraud and forgery, as the embezzlement had reached its statute of limitation. As a result of this criminal complaint, a meeting took place between Meijering and the Prosecutor’s Office – represented by District Attorney Kromdijk – and members of the police. On the side of Meijering there was Mr. De Jong – another victim – and a paralegal from the Victims Bureau. During this meeting, Meijering requested the confiscation of five paintings. However, the District Attorney agreed to confiscating two paintings: Pic de Luc and Het Reitdiep. The reason for this was that the manpower and finances for this investigation were limited, as it wasn’t a priority case (the Public Prosecutor’s Office wanted to prosecute Cor van L. with limited means). During this meeting, Meijering voiced his concerns about the statute of limitations on the charges, but the District Attorney assured him that the statute had been interrupted. In the following period, Meijering filed several additional complaints with new information discovered during the civil procedure. On 8 October 2012, another meeting took place between Meijering and Kromdijk. During this meeting, Meijering was informed that Van L. would not be prosecuted, as there was a lack of sufficiency and weight of evidence. According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the inauthenticity of Pic de Luc and Het Reitdiep had not been established.
After being informed that no prosecution would take place, Meijering started another article 12 procedure, but the complaint was denied on 18 October 2013 by the Court of Appeal Leeuwarden, as the statute of limitations had passed in 2011. The interruption that Kromdijk assured him of earlier had never taken place, as the Public Prosecutor’s Office had never undertaken a deed of prosecution.
Several mistakes were made by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in the Altink II Affair penal procedure, similar to what had happened with the Altink I Affair. There are two remarkable aspects to this criminal investigation that beg further exploration, starting with the claim by the Public Prosecutor’s Office that there was insufficient evidence to determine the inauthenticity of the two paintings. Not only had it already been determined in the civil procedure (based on technical examination) that the two paintings were fakes, but also there was a report by the Dutch Forensic Institute that declared the works to be fake (based on handwriting research). The doubt of the Public Prosecutor’s Office surrounding the authenticity of the two paintings was unfounded, as both pieces of research concluded that the paintings were, in fact, fakes.
The second point is that the statute of limitations was never interrupted. The interruption guaranteed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office never took place or took place inadequately. As a result, it is now impossible to prosecute the Van L. couple again without any criminal complaints from new victims. Again, mistakes made by the Public prosecutor’s Office have led to the Van L. couple going free from prosecution.
 The article 12 procedure is a tool available to citizens to have the justice department prosecute a suspect even after the charges being dropped.
 The statute of limitation of embezzlement is 6 years, article 70 sub 2 Sr.
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