Say what? Dutch King grants royal pardon to TV-host turned cocaine trafficker

Famous TV presenter Frank Masmeijer has been granted a royal pardon by the Dutch king, cutting short his 2014 prison sentence for cocaine trafficking, by 1.5 years. 

One of the perks of being king of the Netherlands is that (in addition to the fancy clothes and good food) you’re allowed to pardon people you don’t think should be locked up. 

And, well, our very own Willy-boy has made use of his royal privilege in a rather strange way this time. 😅

Confessed involvement 

A whopping 467 kilos of cocaine sounds like quite the lucrative deal, and Masmeijer clearly agreed. He allegedly took part in a smuggling attempt from Colombia to Antwerp in 2014. 

READ MORE | Dutch quirk #56: Have a liberal attitude towards party drugs

After denying everything for about four years, the former TV host finally admitted that he’d been involved to a “limited” extent — whatever that means. 🤷🏽‍♀️

Royal pardon — but why? 

Eight long years later, the 60-year-old Dutchman received some lovely news: our dear Willem-Alexander has ordered to have him pardoned. 

Meaning Masmeijer will be a free man a baffling 1.5 years before he was supposed to be! 🙄💅🏽

Does Willy have some special information that’s been hidden from the public? Does he hate law and order? Or does he simply have an (until now) unknown admiration for failed drug smugglers? 

READ MORE | 9 things you didn’t know about King Willem Alexander

Whatever the reason might be, nobody seems to be sure what the Dutch king based his pardon on. 

Mesmeijer himself even stated that he was unaware of the possibility of a pardon because his lawyers viewed the chance of him getting one as being close to zero. 

Although Mesmeijer and his team are probably jumping with excitement right now, not everyone’s happy with the decision.

The Dutch Police Association have made their dissatisfaction clear and would very much like to get an explanation for the king’s choice. 

READ MORE | Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about cocaine in the Netherlands

Sooo, Willem-Alexander either has to conjure up a really good excuse or accept the fact that this episode will be added to his long list of embarrassing blunders. 🤴🏽

It’s not the King, but the minister who actually decides

But the Netherlands isn’t an old-school Disney monarchy, so ultimately the King decides very little himself.

With this pardon, a request is first put before the court and the prosecutor, who can give their advice about it, and the advice of the court is then leading (in this case, the prosecutor actually advised negatively about granting the pardon).

The minister of legal protection (Franc Weerwind) then decides upon it, before the King ultimately needs to sign off on it, which he will theoretically do every time.

What do you think about the Dutch king’s use of the royal pardon? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Juni Moltubak
Juni Moltubak
Juni moved to the Netherlands after realizing how expensive tuition fees in the UK are, and never regretted her choice of studying in The Hague. After three years of Political Science, she is ready for a new adventure — an internship at DutchReview! When you don’t see her typing on her laptop she can be found strolling around Haagse Bos or sitting in her lovely garden scrolling through interior design TikToks.

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