Authorities turn on reporters in crime boss leak scandal
10 May 2006, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch authorities suspect two journalists of violating State secrecy in relation to top criminal and alleged police informer Mink K.
10 May 2006
AMSTERDAM — The Dutch authorities suspect two journalists of violating State secrecy in relation to top criminal and alleged police informer Mink K.
Journalists Joost de Haas and Bart Mos were questioned on Tuesday and were obliged to provide various samples, including DNA, their newspaper 'De Telegraaf' said on Wednesday.
The men were not arrested and justice officials have yet to decide whether to prosecute them.
Dutch journalist union NVJ has criticised the treatment of the journalists and has pledged to support them.
De Telegraaf reported in January that top secret information the intelligence service AIVD (formerly BVD) compiled about the Dutch underworld had fallen into criminal hands. The newspaper published portions of the file on Robert Mink Kok, which he allegedly has in his possession.
He was arrested in his prison cell last August on suspicion of involvement in the murder of Alkmaar drug dealer Jaap van der Heiden. Prosecutors believe Kok and criminal Jan Femer were behind the bomb attack which killed Van der Heiden while he was on temporary release from prison in 1993. Femer was himself murdered in Amsterdam in 2000.
The renewed investigation into Van der Heiden's killing led to Kok's arrest just as he had finished a three-and-a-half-year sentence for possession of a huge quantity of guns and explosives in a home on Nachtwachtlaan in Amsterdam in September 1999. The police claimed they stumbled on the weapons cache purely by chance while investigating a report of water leaking into the apartment below.
Kok has had a long and murky career in the Dutch underworld. He is said to have played a prominent role in the importation of 15,000 kilos of cocaine in supposed sting operations by the undercover IRT police unit between 1991 and 1994.
Leading prosecutors agreed to be lenient with Kok in relation to the find of 200 weapons in return for information on the alleged involvement of police officers and justice officials in corruption and drug smuggling.
Part of his trial was held behind closed doors because of his cooperation with intelligence agencies. But a microphone was accidentally left on, allowing journalists in another part of the building to hear how Kok worked for the BVD. Ultimately the court decided on a relatively low sentence because his life was in danger.
A former BVD agent, identified only as Paul H., was arrested in early May. De Telegraaf reported he is suspected of supplying the confidential information to Kok.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news