Flemish Member of Parliament Sihame El Kaouakibi (Open Vld) defended herself at a press conference on Monday afternoon against the reports of a possible conflict of interest between her dance vzw Let’s Go Urban and its own commercial companies. None other than ex-minister Johan Vande Lanotte (photo) was her lawyer.
Vande Lanotte came up with a lot of figures that he believes prove that there was no personal enrichment by Sihame El Kaouakibi. It was remarkable that he attacked the office that carried out the forensic audit of the financial flows. According to the ex-minister, this made mistakes and made the case seem bigger than it is. It concerns the office i-Force from Erpe-Mere.
According to Vande Lanotte, there were deposits in both directions between Let’s Go Urban and the companies and i-Force blew up the case by showing only one side of the payments. According to him, it is not correct that the non-profit organization allocated 342,000 euros to assignments to the commercial companies of El Kaouakibi, as appeared in the press. If you look at everything ‘net’, it only concerns 150,000 euros. The fact that i-Force stated all amounts including VAT, makes the case seem bigger, it still sounded.
I-Force felt so hurt in its honor that it came out with a response on Monday evening. “We strongly deny that we intentionally included factual inaccuracies in the report in order to ‘blow up’ the matter,” the company said in a communiqué.
The office continues to find it strange that some payments first went to Let’s Go Urban, and then were transferred to El Kaouakibi’s company Wannawork. “If repayments have been made, these were also included transparently in our report.”
I-Force also gave some technical reasons why it opted for amounts inclusive of VAT. The company says it is not yet making a decision about possible personal enrichment by El Kaouakibi. “In our audit, based on the information made available to us, we were not able to decide whether or not there would have been personal enrichment. For example, we were not given full insight into the activities and administration of the companies involved, which meant we were unable to comment on the performance related to payments. ”
Or how a case in court is already widely reported in the media.
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