The documentary series by producer Robert Oey and director Arjen Sinninghe Damsté sheds light on the history of Dutch soft drugs policy from the 1970s onwards. They made a reconstruction of the development and transformation of the Dutch tolerance policy. A common thread in the series is the case surrounding the founder and former owner of coffee shop chain GrassCompany Johan van Laarhoven, who was sentenced to 103 years in prison in Thailand in 2014 for money laundering drug money. Van Laarhoven has been stuck in the Netherlands since the beginning of this year.
Gerrit van der Burg, chairman of the Board of Procurators General, and national press spokesperson Wouter Bosmee, among others, worked on the series on behalf of the Public Prosecution Service. “It is in line with the task of the Public Prosecution Service to publicly explain and interpret. The Public Prosecution Service is used to being approached critically. That is also allowed. Only the balance in this production is lost. The series certainly does not show a ‘balanced picture’ of the Van Laarhoven case, ”said the OM.
According to the Public Prosecution Service, a number of lawyers often have their say in the series and they are given every opportunity to criticize the Public Prosecution Service and the public prosecutors involved. “The Public Prosecution Service is not free to refute the one-sided and incorrect allegations and allegations of the lawyers in the cases of the suspects. The Public Prosecution is thus waiting for the further handling of the criminal case against the suspects in the cases surrounding The Grass Company and of course not via the media, ”said the Public Prosecution Service.
The criminal case against the suspects is scheduled for January next year.