Interim verdict says H&K and Walther’s claims were unsubstantiated

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. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • zincorium

    Shouldn’t a police department give the information about what they’re looking for in a service pistol to all interested competitors? It’d improve the options they were presented with, leaving them with a better final product.

    ‘Slipping’ it to only one manufacturer, were it the case, would be stupid in addition to corrupt.

    • zincorium, they do, thats probably why H&K & Walther could not make a case. I can’t think what kind of secret information could have been revealed that SIG could have acted upon.

  • Henk

    Eventhough I think that the Sig Sauer is an excellent choice.
    Why does these corruption allegations do not surprise me?

    Because there is a big chance that they are down right true!

    As a Dutch citizen, I have lived in this country long enough to realize that the whole system over here is as corrupt as the rest of the world.

    If you have friends at the right places. You will get a way with allot of things in Holland. Dutch goverment loves to keep everything under the hat, to keep up the facade that we are doing so well over here.

  • Aurelien

    Well knowing how H&K fudged their own offer on the French Police handgun program, and then in another program for a French Military handgun, i’ll say they better take a look at their own shortcommings before getting their panties in a bunch over not winning a contract.

    Plus they are just pissed off that their “ultimate handguns” are not getting any contracts anywhere in the LEO community.

  • Counsel

    HKs aren’t bad, but they aren’t in the ballpark when you look at bang-for-the-buck… If I were them, I’d have chosen the Sig or, here it comes, the fnx9.

  • Burst

    Dutch court rules Dutch government not culpable. Stop the presses.

    While the official requirements were probably available to all parties, the “unofficial” ones may have made the sale.

  • johnny

    personally i think the dutch shouldve held out for the walther PPQ……..such a sweet sweet gun with an incredible trigger reset……

  • Geoff a well known Skeptic

    I do not know how the Dutch procurement works. But it looks like Walther, now fighting for the lowest level of quality and durability with Hi-point while charging Benz prices, and H&K, shoddy over size guns at Bentley prices, have learned from their US of A experience. If you lose, SUE and bribe the judge to give you money! Geoff Who notes it’s the US Government Way, cross reference the forty year effort to replace the KC-135…sigh.