I recently reported that H&K and Walther took the Dutch government to court over allegations of impropriety in their selection of the Sig Sauer PPNL as the new police sidearm. They claimed that a corrupt policeman, who is under investigation for another alleged crime, secretly fed information to SIG to help them adapt the pistol to the police requirements.
The interim verdict by a Dutch court says that H&K and Walther failed to substantiate those claims.
The ANP reports (translated by my Dutch source) …
Two firearms manufacturers, who missed the boat at the tender for the new Dutch Police pistol, failed to substantiate their claim about the manipulation of the selection procedure.
At least, that was the verdict of the interim court in The Hague last Monday. The manufacturers, Walther and Heckler & Koch claimed that the police had illegally favored their competitor Sig Sauer.
This favoritism was made by a policeman, who was assumed to be corrupt at the tender of pepper spray in 2002. This investigation is still running. According to Walther and Heckler & Koch, the same policeman slipped information to Sig Sauer in order to adjust their handgun to the police requirements. Assumingly the specifications were also made up in favor of the Sig Sauer pistol.
In January it was made public that the police will buy Sig Sauer pistols to replace the current Walthers and Glocks. In the procedure it is only an intention to grant the tender to the manufacturer.
One of the statements, on which Walther and Heckler & Koch based their complaint, was made by a former manager of Sig Sauer, who works for Heckler & Koch as a commercial director. He stated that the policeman visited the Sig Sauer plant in Germany several times in 2005 and took an active part in numerous internal tests there. The plaintiffs questioned the impartiality of the policeman who was part of the selection committee.
The police of the Netherlands started a formal investigation by the The National Police Internal Investigations Department (Rijksrecherche) and the Governmental Audit Service (Rijksauditdienst), but they could not find any unlawful actions. According to the judge the plaintiffs failed to prove that this policeman influenced the tender procedure in favor of Sig Sauer. Also the investigations resulted in the same conclusion. Also, the police did not act in contrary to the regulations of tenders nor treated the two manufacturers unlawfully in any way, according to the verdict.
[ Many thanks to the Dutch source for emailing me the link. ]