Translator jailed for leaking AIVD files

14th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

14 December 2005, AMSTERDAM — A Moroccan-Dutch translator, who worked for the Dutch intelligence service AIVD, has been jailed for four-and-a-half years for leaking confidential information to terrorist suspects.

14 December 2005

AMSTERDAM — A Moroccan-Dutch translator, who worked for the Dutch intelligence service AIVD, has been jailed for four-and-a-half years for leaking confidential information to terrorist suspects.

A court in Rotterdam imposed the sentence on Outman Ben A., 34, for leaking state secrets, some of which came into the hands of suspected members of the Hofstadgroep.

Ben A., who translated Arabic into Dutch for the AIVD, has consistently denied the allegations against him. "I feel really I have been treated in a rotten way," he said when the verdict was announced. He is appealing against the conviction.

Mohammed B, the man who killed film director Theo van Gogh - and 13 other Muslims are on trial in Amsterdam on charges of membership of the Hofstadgroep. The authorities claim the group is a fundamentalist Muslim terror network in the Netherlands.

Prosecutors had sought an eight-year sentence for Ben A., who has been in custody for over a year.

The Public Prosecutor's Office (OM) had worked hard in this case as a very serious crime had been committed, justice officials said.

The leaked documents referred to ongoing and highly sensitive operational activities by the AIVD in relation to terrorism. Leaking this material - including the transcripts of phone taps - posed serious risks to the investigations, prosecutors argued.

The court agreed, and said the leaking of the information could have posed serious dangers to Dutch society. The presiding judge made clear that the suspicion could not be discounted that Ben A. had deliberately infiltrated the AIVD to steal information.

Prosecutors said Ben A. leaked a number of documents, including the contents of an intercepted telephone conversation to Hofstadgroep suspect A. H. on 5 August 2004. He sent another Hofstad suspect M.B. a progress report on the AIVD's investigation into the group.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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