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Telephone taps in war against terror

Published on 02/11/2005

2 November 2005

BRUSSELS — The security service VS, the military intelligence service and the federal police will soon have greater powers to use telephone taps when investigating suspects of serious crimes and terrorism.

The plan has been outlined in an internal memo from Interior Minister Patrick Dewael, newspaper ‘Het Gazet van Antwerpen’ reported on Wednesday.

The minister confirmed to the newspaper that two legislative proposals are being drawn up. The Cabinet is expected to approve of the measures by the end of this year.

“To avoid abuse, the approval of an investigative judge will be necessary in every case,” the Liberal VLD minister said.

Up until now, the use of telephone taps was highly restricted. Only police were allowed to bug telephone calls and only after a crime had been committed.

However, security services will in future also be able to tap telephones and together with the police, the investigation technique can be used to help prevent, rather than simply solve, crimes.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news