The former spokesperson for Geert Wilders, Dutch far-right Freedom Party leader who is known for his anti-Islam attitude, is accused of misappropriating appoximatelly 180,000 euros for a luxury life, the public prosecutor in Maastricht says.
The former spokesman of Geert Wilder, the far-right Dutch politician who wants to halt the Muslim refugee flow in Europe, embezzled nearly 180,000 euros ($203,000) in party funds to finance a luxury lifestyle, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
Michael Heemels, who stepped down in February, is alleged to have spent the money on alcohol, drugs, jewellery, electronics, designer furniture and expensive travel including a trip to New York to see Madonna in concert.
"The investigation is in the final stages and he will soon be summoned to appear in court," said prosecution spokesman Harry Willems. "It was a lot of money."
In a letter to the regional parliament, published on a Dutch news web site, Heemels said he had sought to escape from stress, work pressure and personal conflict "through excessive drug and alcohol use".
"At a certain point, I lost my grip on reality and was living in a fantasy world, fooling and cheating everyone around me," he said.
Heemels, who led Wilders' Freedom Party in the southern province of Maastricht, used party credit cards and withdrew 90,000 euros ($102,000) in cash to fund his high lifestyle between 2012 and 2016, prosecutors allege.
He faces a maximum punishment of three years in prison and a fine of up to 76,000 euros.