Anti-terror law to make telephone bugs easier
1 August 2005
BRUSSELS — New legislation will soon make it easier for police to tap telephone calls as Belgium moves to intensify its war against terrorism.
Interior Minister Patrick Dewael said in future police will be able to take action as soon as there are indications that possible crimes are being prepared.
However, the Liberal VLD minister wants to maintain strict controls. He stressed that a judge will always need to approve the use of a telephone bug.
“Otherwise we will evolve into a police state,” Dewael said.
Police and the security service VS have long requested easier access to telephone bugging and Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx (Socialist PS) indicated several months ago she was prepared to give the green light.
And Dewael has now indicated the federal government is drawing up legislation to that effect, newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ reported on Monday.
He said instead of telephone bugging only being allowed in a “reactive phase” during ongoing investigations, the new legislation will allow police to take a “pro-active” stance if there are suspicions of a crime being prepared.
Police and the VS will then be able to take action quicker to gather information about, for example, radical Muslims.
The Cabinet will draw up the legislative proposal after the summer holiday period.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news