Flemish broadcaster VRT will be investigated by Brussels public prosecutor’s office
Tuesday, 10 November 2020
The Brussels prosecutor’s office is starting a criminal investigation into Flemish public broadcaster VRT, De Tijd reports on Tuesday.
Possible irregularities in the functioning of some departments at VRT were discovered during an audit of the public broadcaster, the report of which was received by the federal police’s central anti-corruption department.
The magistrate of the public prosecutor has not disclosed for which offences the VRT will be investigated, De Tijd wrote, and no judicial investigation has yet been launched.
“The content of the report is not acceptable in any company,” current CEO Frederik Delaplace said in October. Allegations include non-compliance with public procurement procedures and a lack of supporting documents for payments, according to De Tijd.
“An important recommendation from the audit is that there should be transparency about contracts” between production houses and television faces, said Flemish Media Minister Benjamin Dalle. “Constructions to disguise how much someone really earns” should not be possible, he said.
The audit was launched after reports of malpractice following what De Standaard describes as “an open war” between Paul Lembrechts, who was CEO of the VRT at the time, and Peter Claes, the director of Production and Media.
Claes was placed on inactive status in mid-December following the conflict and left the broadcaster two months later.
The VRT preferred not to comment on the Brussels prosecutor’s office to launch an investigation, De Tijd wrote.