The complaint against Karin Spaink has been translated into English by Zenon Panoussis. In that Mr. Panoussis has, ironically, claimed copyright privileges for his translation of this court document, a fair use summary is hereby provided.
The original document can be obtained by contacting Meester P. SWIER, Bailiff, Maassluisstraat 98-100, 1062 GE AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS, or the plaintiff’s counsel, Katrien CRAUWELS, barrister at the Antwerp Court, with offices in 2018 Antwerp, Mechelsesteenweg 210/A.
The complaint against KARIN SPAINK was served at the request of MR. KOEN CLONEN, Gendarme, on the 29th of October, 1999, with a summons to appear on December 13, 1999, at Section Ten B of the Court of First Instance of the court district of ANTWERP, Court Building of Antwerp. The document states that the defendant, Karin Spaink, was a witness to a control carried out on August 29, 1998 by the Gendarmerie;
That she and MR. ZENON PANOUSSIS observed and heavily criticised the behaviour of the gendarmes;
That due to their behaviour Mr. Panoussis was also made subject to search;
That they behaved arrogantly and refused all cooperation;
That Spaink verbally threatened to attack the participating gendarmes, among them plaintiff, through the media;
That Spaink subsequently let appear an article in the newspaper ‘De Morgen,’ in which she gave her account of the facts and referred disparagingly to the plaintiff as “Groin Grabber” [in Dutch: “Klotenknijper”];
That that article resulted in significant erroneous and unfair coverage of the event, including debates on radio and television;
That the defendant also dedicated an entire Internet site to the subject, republishing the various newspaper articles that appeared;
That the defendant then submitted a written complaint to the Constant Committee of Control of the Police Services, resulting in an internal investigation of the plaintiff;
That the investigations were concluded in favour of the plaintiff to the degree that the Prosecution saw no need to even consider a criminal investigation against the plaintiff;
That the defendant’s description of the facts were found to be manifestly in conflict with the truth and made soley to cause disadvantage to the plaintiff;
That no proof whatsoever was put forward to support her allegations, and that she apparently only wanted to use the situation to attract public attention and advance her career as a writer;
That the defendant’s false statements made in the press, and in her report to the Constant Committee of Control are libellous to the plaintiff and constitute an illegal act through the violation of, among others, articles 1382- 1383 of the Civil Code and are even penal offences against articles 275, 443, 447 and 448 of the Penal Code;
That the plaintiff suffered considerable immaterial damage;
Due to the internal investigation, the promotion of the plaintiff was postponed. The allegations Spaink made against the plaintiff in the press, including the derogatory nickname, made him the subject of ridicule and contempt within the force and his professional capabilities and position as a superior were brought into doubt.
The plaintiff claimed compensation for the damage he suffered in the estimated amount of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND BELGIAN FRANKS (2,478.94 EURO), to be increased with the legal and procedural interests, plus legal costs.
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