I wasn’t pretending to pee; I was just playing air guitar.
That’s what Belgian Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne — widely known as “Quickie” — told reporters Tuesday evening, in response to the “Pipigate” scandal which has dominated Belgian headlines following his 50th birthday party last month.
Three of Van Quickenborne’s guests, invited to his house to celebrate the occasion, were caught on surveillance cameras urinating on police vans parked by the minister’s home.
Van Quickenborne’s office initially released a statement saying the minister “disapproves of this behavior,” and that he was not “present” at the time of the incident or aware that it had happened.
But video footage released by Belgian public broadcaster VRT this week seemed to dispute his claim, as it showed the minister walking outside at around 4 a.m., standing on the sidewalk, leaning back and “pretending to pee,” according to VRT.
Van Quickenborne has since come forward with his own video footage, in an attempt to exonerate himself. He told several Belgian news outlets that the video shows him making a movement, but that it was more likely a “guitar move,” not a “pee movement.”
Van Quickenborne insists he did not know what his guests had done to the police van and that he has nothing to hide.
He is set to appear on Thursday in front of the justice committee of the Belgian parliament to answer questions about the incident, and the minister said he will bring the footage.
By coming out proactively with his own footage, Van Quickenborne — who is close to Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo — seems to be on the safe side, for now at least.
Van Quickenborne has been under security protection for almost a year, after he was the target of serious threats from drug organizations and a foiled kidnapping attempt.