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“Agents allowed to break the law”

Published on 28/03/2007

28 March 2007

BRUSSELS – If the federal government gets its way, officers from the state security department and the military intelligence service ADIV will be able to commit crimes with immunity as part of their job.

The government’s plans have met with sharp criticism from the bar association, the human rights league, the permanent review committee on the intelligence services, the board of procurators general, and the Council of State.

The proposed legislation would stipulate that agents of the intelligence services may not be penalised for committing “strictly necessary crimes,” on condition that their actions do not put others in any physical danger.

The law would allow them to operate under a false identity, to infiltrate radical groups for instance, and set up legal persons or establishments as fronts for an indefinite period of time.

That includes issuing false invoices, false annual accounts and other illegal actions. In cases where they are required to follow individuals they will not be able to be penalised for traffic violations.

The illegal actions must however be necessary for the particular intelligence assignment and must be in proportion to the aim of the task.

In no event may they directly and seriously endanger the physical integrity of others. So murders and rapes are not allowed, in other words.

Nor will magistrates that are members of the review committee that must give prior permission for these kinds of violations be able to be prosecuted for this.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news