A court in The Hague has acquitted RedStar of all charges of fraud with MEI subsidies (subsidies for energy innovation market introductions in greenhouse horticulture). KUBO has also been exonerated. In 2014, the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) accused the companies of having committed fraud while applying for European funding. That case has now been closed.
The companies are pleased with the verdict. Still, there are mixed feelings at RedStar, which, just like KUBO, has insisted on their innocence from the start. Founder Dirk van der Kaaij was also acquitted on all charges.
"This victory was clear beforehand. I warned the Public Prosecution Service several times that this case has no chance and is a waste of time for all parties", said lawyer Boudewijn van Eijck of law firm Sjöcrona-Van Stigt, which represented RedStar.
"Ultimately, the tax payer winds up footing the bill for 5 years of work from civil servants that led to nothing. It was a wild-goose chase, when there weren't any geese to be found."
The charges were completely obliterated by the court. Van Eijck: "Fortunately, we can turn a black page. This case brought a lot of negative energy and costs to the company and its employees."
The subsidy had been used in 2012 for an ultramodern climate greenhouse built by KUBO for RedStar.