Court sets Hans G. free

Hans G., chief maintenance officer at the RUG, committed fraud and swindled a sum of at least half a million euros over the course of eight years, according to the Public Prosecutor (OM). The financial damage to the university is as yet unknown. G. was released by the court on Wednesday.

Before the court in Almelo, the OM accused G. of money laundering, forgery of documents and administrative corruption. Since 2008, the suspect allegedly accepted tens of thousands of euros annually from various installation businesses in exchange for favours. In 2012, he received almost 100,000 euros for various undertakings.

Massive case

G. is seen as a spider at the centre of a web in a massive case. The RUG manager asked the installation and building companies to give him money outside of the official channels or to extend favours to his family in return for maintenance contracts at the university. This is how he managed to get his son and daughter-in-law on the payroll of two businesses, according to the judiciary.

Hans G. refuted the allegations against him in court. ‘I would like to clearly state that the money received was through conventional employment contracts, under which members of my family carried out tasks for the RUG and the businesses. It is now being suggested that it was a predetermined plan to harm the RUG financially. That is not true’, he said.

Minimal risk of recidivism

G. has been held in preventative custody since the 25th of January this year. According to the judge, there is no reason to keep him in custody any longer. The risk of him committing the crime again is minimal and the investigation by the judiciary is not jeopardised by his release, according to the judge during the preliminary hearing in Almelo on Wednesday.

Lawyer Arco de Kruijff is happy for his client. ‘G. is very relieved. I am extremely happy for him. There have to be grounds for preventative custody. If they are not there, you have to let someone go through their trial without being held.’

In January of this year, eight people were arrested by the Fiscal Information and Intelligence Service (FIOD) in connection with the case. Among these were G.’s son and daughter-in-law. A boat, three cars, their bank accounts and 11,000 euros in cash were seized in searches in their homes.