Dutch spooks face inquiry into security failures
25 February 2004 , AMSTERDAM — After the uproar over the Mabelgate affair and the murder of politician Pim Fortuyn, a special commission will investigate whether the Dutch secret service AIVD is doing its job properly.
25 February 2004
AMSTERDAM — After the uproar over the Mabelgate affair and the murder of politician Pim Fortuyn, a special commission will investigate whether the Dutch secret service AIVD is doing its job properly.
In response to a request from the Dutch Parliament, Interior Minister Johan Remkes will launch the commission's inquiry next month, public news service NOS reported on Tuesday.
The members of the commission will be carefully vetted because they will possibly be privy to secret information during the investigation.
Harry Borghouts, the Queen's representative to Noord Holland province, is expected to be appointed to chair the commission. But Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen, former Liberal VVD leader Hans Dijkstal and a former mayor of The Hague, Ad Havermans, have also been mentioned as possible candidates.
The investigation will focus on whether the AIVD made procedural errors in the Mabelgate scandal involving Mabel Wisse Smit, the fiancee of Prince Johan Friso.
Prince Friso will relinquish his rights to the Dutch throne by marrying Mabel in Delft in April following revelations she lied about the depth of a past relationship with mafia boss Klaas Bruinsma, who was shot and killed in Amsterdam in 1991.
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende announced in October 2003 that the Cabinet will not request parliamentary approval for the marriage because of a breach of Mabel's "breach of trust". Approval is necessary for Friso to retain his succession rights.
The Lower House of Parliament, the Tweede Kamer, was promised last year that a commission inquiry will be conducted into the actions of the AIVD and its flawed background check into Mabel. The AIVD failed to uncover any evidence of dubious behaviour on Mabel's part, but her lies were eventually uncovered by crime journalist Peter R. de Vries.
MPs had also previously directed criticism against the AIVD, particularly in relation to former populist LPF state secretary Philomena Bijlhout.
The short-lived government minister lied about her former involvement with the Peoples Militia of Surinamese.
This group, which supported Surinam's dictator Desi Bouterse, is infamous for the 1982 December murders of 15 opponents of the South American nation's military regime.
The AIVD had failed to uncover the fact that she was still part of the militia after the murders had been committed. But news service RTL uncovered photos of her in uniform in 1983, forcing her to resign just several hours after being sworn in to the first Balkenende Cabinet in 2002.
Furthermore, questions have been raised about the security around assassinated anti-immigration politician Pim Fortuyn in May 2002.
Concern has also been raised about the fact the AIVD ran a background check of Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn without ministerial approval. Edwin and his wife Princess Margarita have launched legal action against the royal family and are considering suing it for more than EUR 30 million.
Other problems the AIVD faces relate to the acquittal and/or release of terrorism suspects on several occasions because evidence the AIVD gathered against them was ruled inadmissible.
But it is not likely that the commission will publish its findings in an all-revealing report. The AIVD is also expected to take the opportunity to complain that its powers are limited.
Minister Remkes is expected to inform the Parliament of much of the commission's findings in the summer. Confidential matters will be reported to the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Services Commission.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news