Dutch Justice Minister Ard Van der Steur resigned Thursday over a controversial deal in which his ministry paid a criminal €2.1 million in exchange for information, NOS reported.Van der Steur, a senior member of Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s liberal VVD party, came under fire over his involvement in the so-called Teeven deal, a scandal that led to his predecessor’s resignation in March 2015.Former Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten, along with his secretary of state Fred Teeven, resigned after admitting to misleading parliament about the payments when it emerged the amount in question was closer to €2.1 million than the previously disclosed €385,000. Dutch journalist Bas Haan alleged in a recently published book that Van der Steur had deliberately withheld information from parliament, first as an MP and then in his post as justice minister.The resignation is a blow to Rutte, who had expressed confidence in his minister and whose party is trailing behind far-right firebrand Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party just two months before national elections.Opinion polls published Sunday suggest the Freedom Party would emerge as the biggest if elections were held today, with 33 seats in the 150-seat parliament. Rutte’s party would come in second with 26 seats, followed by the Christian Democrat CDA with 16 seats. Between 50 and 75 percent of voters are still undecided, the poll found.
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