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Cancer Missiles - Questions for the Dutch Government

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Autor: Razvan Belciuganu Diana Rucinschi 09 Sep 2005 - 00:00
Cancer Missiles  -  Questions for the Dutch Government


No Romanian official seems to be interested in the fate of the Romanian army men that will work with the HAWK missiles bought from Holland, but the disclosures of Jurnalul National for the file of the "Top Secret Cancer Missiles" fans the flame in the Dutch Parliament.

After we showed in our articles that a representative of the Dutch Government lied to his own colleagues in the Parliament about Romania’s purchase of the HAWK missiles, the Dutch politicians addressed an interpellation to the Defense State Secretary.

Krista Van Veltzen, the Dutch member of the Parliament who wanted to know whether the Romanian authorities had been informed about the doubts regarding the missiles in Holland ever since the beginning of the year, continues the "crusade" by asking the Dutch officials a new set of questions.

TOP SECRET. Jurnalul National has presented more than once the doubts in Holland regarding the antiaircraft HAWK missile systems, which Romania purchased at the end of 2004, exactly between the two election rounds. We sent a set of questions to the Romanian Defense Minister, as well as to the Dutch Defense Minister. The answers we received were extremely laconic. The Dutch Minister of Defense gave a quite complete description of the systems, but went around the questions regarding the morbidity cases, and the ones about the Dutch informing the Romanians about these cases, as they had said. Moreover, they let the representatives of the Romanian Ministry to give answers to several questions: "The questions regarding the purchase procedures and the negotiations have to be asked to the Romanian Ministry of Defense". The Romanian Ministry said that, "due to the Governmental agreement between Romania and Holland regarding the purchase of the HAWK systems, the information is confidential". They serenely admit that "the Dutch side didn’t inform them on the complaints against the Dutch Ministry of Defense of the army men that had used these systems".

CARELESSNESS IN BUCHAREST. However, they don’t believe this is a reason for them to worry in any way. We expected them to publicly ask for more information from their Dutch counterparts, since we received this answer. Nothing like that ever happened. The Minister of Defense is more concerned about not revealing the names of the people that negotiated and signed for this contract. "The Evaluation Commission of the National Ministry of Defense took part in the negotiations, called by the contracting-party." It seems that State Secretary Cees van der Knaap was right when he said in front of the Dutch Parliament: "The Romanians are very pleased and we are also pleased we managed to sell them". Only that he was not referring to the Romanian soldiers that were to work with these systems, but to the officials that had signed this contract.

INTEREST IN HOLLAND. The investigation in Jurnalul National fanned the flame in Hague. Krista van Veltzen, the Dutch Member of the Parliament who, at the beginning of the year, was asking the State Secretary Cees van der Knaap whether he had informed his Romanian counterparts about the sickening cases recorded in the Dutch army and whether he would take these systems back, asked him a new set of questions. Krista was stating in an interview for Jurnalul National that the fact that the missiles had been sold to Romania doesn’t mean the responsibility for the sick people and for finding the truth had been sold as well. The Dutch member of the Parliament says this to emphasize the fact that the case is not closed for her, yet. Van Veltzen reminds the Defense Secretary about the statement he made in front of the Parliament, according to which the Romanian authorities knew all about the many complaints and about the possible connections between the cancer cases and the radiations. In the same time, she asks again directly the question about informing the Romanian authorities, demanding the date and the information given. Krista also asks van der Knaap for an explanation of the fact that the Romanian Ministry of Defense said they had not receive any information, referring here to the article in Jurnalul National on the 11th of August 2005. The State Secretary will also have to say the date of the informing the Romanian authorities about the results of the investigations in Holland and Belgium and if he would terminate the contract at the request of the Romanian party. A few months ago, van der Knaap was saying he didn’t intend to leave Romania the opportunity of returning those systems back. The State Secretary will also have to answer if the systems would be transferred in September. Under the given circumstances, wouldn’t it be better for the missiles to remain in Holland until the clarification of the suspicions regarding these systems? If yes, where would they be stored?

SERIOUS SITUATION. In the past few years, the antiaircraft HAWK defense systems have met with many controversies in all the states that owned or still own them. There are a lot of complaints from the personnel from the engineering departments, as well as from the former army men that had worked with these missiles. This way, 212 files had been registered in Holland. 73 people say they suffer from several forms of cancer. Belgium faces a similar situation. There are complex lawsuits in Germany and the United States in which hundreds of thousands of euros had been claimed as damages. In all these states, the authorities had to start investigations that cost as much. The most serious of them, with results expected by the ministries, the producer and the sick people as well, takes place in Belgium and gathers data from more states. It started in 2001 and there are many people saying it should have ended by now. However, its coordinators say they are about to reach the end. The first preliminary results should be made public during this fall, and the investigation will be finalized at the end of the next year. There exists, in Holland, an investigation by TNO (a medical and biological research institute), but the unions displeased it because this investigation is all about theoretical results.

DILEMMAS. All the details regarding the transaction between Romania and Holland are very foggy. There is nothing certain about it, not even the date of the signing of the contract. According to a public statement on the official webpage of the Dutch Air Forces, the contract had been signed on the 6th of December 2004. However, the annual report of the same institution, made public on the 18th of May 2005, says it had been signed on the 18th of November 2004. The same uncertainty is met when trying to get information about the present location of the missiles. According to the annual report, the transfer of the missiles took place in April 2005, which means the missiles are already in Romania. On the other hand, Jane’s Defense, a prestigious magazine in the field, was saying the missiles were to arrive in Romania this month.

Translated By Sorin Balan
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