Bungling crime fighter gets computer back

8th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

8 October 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Crime reporter Peter R. de Vries has promised to return a computer to Amsterdam's public prosecutor's office, having already gained access to its sensitive crime-fighting data after it was unwittingly thrown in the trash. De Vries received a fax on Friday from the Amsterdam chief prosecutor, Leo de Wit, requesting the return of the computer and he has agreed to the request, newspaper De Volkskrant reported.

8 October 2004

AMSTERDAM — Crime reporter Peter R. de Vries has promised to return a computer to Amsterdam's public prosecutor's office, having already gained access to its sensitive crime-fighting data after it was unwittingly thrown in the trash.
 
De Vries received a fax on Friday from the Amsterdam chief prosecutor, Leo de Wit, requesting the return of the computer and he has agreed to the request, newspaper De Volkskrant reported.

The public prosecutor's office (OM) wants to examine the computer to determine exactly what data was stored in the machine. The OM can then evaluate whether existing investigations have been damaged.

A specialist prosecutor in white collar crime, Joost Tonino was left red faced on Thursday after it emerged he had put his computer out with the trash, believing it was defective. A taxi driver found the PC, got it working and accessed "extremely sensitive" information about criminal investigations in Amsterdam.

The taxi driver then took the computer to television crime reporter Peter R. de Vries, who featured the unusual find on his television programme on SBS 6 on Thursday night.

The data revealed that Tonino was investigating alleged financial links between the murdered real estate magnate Willem Endstra — described as the "banker of the underworld" — and Amsterdam crime figures.

Inquiries were focused on alleged links between Endstra and Freddie Heineken-kidnapper Willem Holleeder, murdered criminals Jan Femer and Sam Klepper and ecstasy dealer Ronald van Essen.

Memos on the computer indicated Tonino really wanted to have Endstra arrested, but the investigation was frustrated due to mistakes by detectives, news agency nu.nl reported.

Sensitive information about investigations into the actions of former Philips boss Cor Boonstra, who was accused of insider dealing, Amsterdam taxi firm TCA  and Amsterdam football club Ajax were also found on the computer.

Dutch MPs reacted with amazement to the news during an emergency debate in Parliament on Thursday night. But Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner said he did not intend to prosecute Tonino, despite the fact he should have had the computer destroyed by the OM.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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