Court clears ex-intelligence workers

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Two former employees of the General Intelligence and Security Service AIVD have been cleared of leaking state secrets to Dutch daily newspaper De Telegraaf.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office had demanded prison terms of two to three years for the two, who are married. The woman, 40, has since been dismissed by the service. Her 49-year-old husband had also worked for the AIVD.

In 2009, the newspaper published an article about the role of the AIVD in the run up to the invasion of Iraq. The service focuses mostly on non-military domestic threats to the Netherlands’ national security. Telephone taps showed that the paper had had contact with the husband. The journalist in question had also been observed in the couple’s house. During a search of their house, the police found several confidential items from the AIVD.

At their trial two weeks ago, the suspects denied that they had leaked information to the newspaper. The court ruled that the evidence collected by a tap on the telephone of the journalist was obtained illegally. The judge also said the deployment of such a tap on a journalist was disproportionate. The Public Prosecutor’s Office intends to appeal the decision.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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