At a most public moment, the opening of the Freedom-Day festival on 5 of May 2009 in Zwolle , Dutch prime-minister Balkenende claimed that the attack on April 30 in Apeldoorn was a an assault on the royal family. These are the words of Balkenende broadcasted on Dutch television news on that day:
“This moment also we think back at last week thursday, at our queen and the members of the royal family, because the assault was directed at them.”
This is said while several independent official investigations into the incident have been announced with the results to be made public in June this year. How is it possible that in a constitutional state, like the Netherlands, which claims to have independent courts and juridical procedures, a prime minister gives his personal opinion on a criminal act (The Karsten T. incident) at such a public ceremonial moment? He has created a situation whereby investigators and judges will be hampered in their tasks, because they may be forced to either contradict or approve the minister-president of the country on this case. The regular behavior in such case by members of the parliament is that they say “I will not” or “I can not comment on something that is still in the hands of the court.” What we observe here is in fact unconstitutional behavior of the highest ranking politician of our country in a clumsy attempt to strengthen the constitutional monarchy. As the incident with Karsten T. can be explained in several ways and where doubts exist if it really was an assault on the royal family or not, such a statement may in the end weaken the position of the royal house and the victimhood which has for political reasons been imposed on them.
The broadcasted text spoken by Balkenende in Dutch was:
“Ook nu denken wij terug aan vorige week donderdag aan onze koningin en de leden van de koninklijke familie, want de aanslag was op hen gericht.”