Boss drops claim of child porn plot

1st August 2006, Comments 0 comments

UPDATED 1 August 2006, AMSTERDAM — There was no plot to discredit prosecutor Joost Tonino by adding child porn to his computer, his embarrassed boss has admitted.

UPDATED 1 August 2006

AMSTERDAM — There was no plot to discredit prosecutor Joost Tonino by adding child porn to his computer, his embarrassed boss has admitted.

Harm Brouwer, the head of the prosecution service, suggested hours earlier that at least some of the child porn images found on the defective computer were added after Tonino left it out with the trash.

Brouwer raised the plot scenario during a recorded interview for Tuesday's addition of television programme Spraakmakende Zaken (high-profile cases). "Photos were added after the computer left the control of colleague Tonino," Brouwer claimed.

An Amsterdam taxi driver found the computer in the trash outside Tonino's house in 2004. He brought it home and got it working. Tonino had not wiped the hard drive and the machine was full of details about criminal investigations he was working on.

The taxi driver gave the computer to television crime reporter Peter R. De Vries. News of Tonino's faux pas caused serious embarrassment and the prosecutor resigned. The case took a further twist following the discovery of the child porn.

Brouwer's suggestion of a plot directly or indirectly raised questions about the role De Vries had played. Within hours Brouwer withdrew the plot claim.

The extra images were downloaded while De Vries and his team were investigating sites previous visited on the computer. The prosecution chief was not aware of this during the television interview.

De Vries revealed that Brouwer rang him later to apologise. The journalist emphasised that there was no question of him or his staff having tampered with the evidence.

The computer was also used to visit 39 hardcore pornography newsgroups, 29 of which focused on youth sex. Justice officials claimed that the child porn found on the computer was an accidental addition, downloaded while Tonino was surfing for legal porn.

A court in The Hague rejected an application by the Childright organisation in June of this year for Tonino to be prosecuted. He is shortly to resume work as a prosecutor in charge of serious criminal investigations.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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