Dutch PM meets far-right foe after security leak scare

Rutte and Justice Minister Stef Blok met Wilders after the agent gave away classified information about the Freedom Party leader's movements, news reports said.

Dutch PM meets far-right foe after security leak scare

World Bulletin / News Desk

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte met Geert Wilders on Wednesday to discuss the far-right MP's security after a government agent was arrested on suspicion of leaking information on him to a Moroccan crime gang, local media reported.

"I never comment about these meetings," Rutte told reporters afterwards.

The unnamed agent is part of the so-called "Iris team", a police squad which carries out preliminary sweeps of public spaces before appearances by politicians such as Wilders or the Dutch royal family, popular daily tabloid De Telegraaf reported.

It was not immediately clear whether the agent was directly involved in Wilders' personal protection.

But he said in a tweet: "If I cannot blindly trust the (team) that has to protect me I can't function. It's unacceptable!"

In a second Tweet, Wilders added: "It's a serious matter and fortunately it's being taken seriously by the cabinet too."

National police spokesman Dennis Janus confirmed that an agent had been arrested Monday suspected of "violating official secrets".

"The police together with the public prosecution service are currently investigating," Janus said, but declined to give further information.

Dutch police chief Erik Akkerboom told news radio station BNR that "what we know up to know his (Wilders') safety was not in question".

"This man did not belong to the so-called 'inner circle' but he did have important information and we don't want to take any risks," Akkerboom said.   

The outspoken Wilders, 53, well-known for his anti-Islamic viewpoint, is riding high in opinion polls ahead of March 15 elections. 

He officially launched his campaign in a suburban town just outside Rotterdam on Saturday, attacking some Moroccans who he called "scum."

Last year he was convicted of discrimination for controversial comments he made in 2014 about Moroccans living in The Netherlands.

Wilders is often called the "best protected" man in the country and lives under 24-hour security. His views have seen him receive death threats including from terror groups such as the Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda.

Some 12.9 million voters are eligible to cast ballots in the March 15 election in which Rutte and Wilders are running neck-and-neck in the polls.

If elected as prime minister, Wilders has among other things vowed to confiscate Korans, close mosques and Islamic schools, shut Dutch borders and ban migrants from Islamic countries.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Şubat 2017, 17:42