The text messages that Prime Minister Rutte has deleted from his phone in recent years can no longer be traced via the phone provider. He wrote this in a letter to the House of Representatives. He also wrote that media reports that his old phone was storing only twenty text messages were incorrect.
De Volkskrant reported yesterday that Root has been deleting text messages from an old Nokia phone for years. At his sole discretion, he has sent the messages he deems relevant to the officials for archiving. He himself says he “never consciously withheld” important matters or that he deleted messages to prevent them from appearing in public after an open government (WOB) appeal.
The House of Representatives reacted indignantly to the prime minister’s approach. At the initiative of GroenLinks leader Klaver, there is a discussion on this issue this morning. Nor are other members of the opposition convinced of the goodwill Ruti said he had. Government parties also support the request for discussion.
“The phone is getting slower”
Claver thought that “everything should be done” to recover deleted messages from his root via the phone provider. In his letter to Parliament, Rutte now writes that his provider has declared that text messages cannot be traced. These messages are not stored. The provider only stores so-called metadata for billing purposes for a period of several months.
It can also be read that Rutte’s phone was able to store more than twenty text messages. He writes: “But my old Nokia phone slowed down as more messages were stored in it.”
The PM also summarizes what he did with the relevant text messages. “Send text messages important for administrative decision-making to or in copy to the employee most involved. Then the employee saves the text. I read long messages that I could not forward, rephrase or leave outlines for employees,” which are believed to have acted according to guidelines.
Ruti also said yesterday that he believed he complied with the rules:
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