Prosecutor throws PC with sensitive data in trash
7 October 2004
AMSTERDAM — A top justice official was left red-faced on Thursday after it emerged he had put his computer out with the trash. A taxi driver found the PC, got it working and accessed “extremely sensitive” information about criminal investigations in Amsterdam.
Joost Tonino is a specialist in prosecuting white collar crime cases. Apart from lots of personal data, his pc also contained confidential information about investigations he was involved in. Tonino dumped the computer because he thought it was defective.
The taxi driver who retrieved the computer from the pile of garbage left outside Tonino’s home discovered files on the murdered “banker of the underworld” Willem Endstra, former Philips boss Cor Boonstra who was accused of insider dealing, Amsterdam taxi firm TCA and Amsterdam football club Ajax.
The taxi driver took the computer to television crime reporter Peter R. de Vries, who is going to feature the unusual find on his television programme on SBS 6 at 8.30pm on Thursday.
De Vries told newspaper De Telegraaf that the computer contains hundreds of pages of highly confidential information about high profile cases and embarrassing memos from other prosecutors referring to the “increasing mess” with the Amsterdam justice department (OM).
The computer also contained correspondence about the contents of press releases and the OM’s media policy and suggestions for questions to put to suspects in specific criminal cases. It that wasn’t enough, the computer also contained emails sent to and from other prosecutors, Tonino’s personal tax files and his “love letters”.
That the information has hit the streets at all is embarrassing, but the fact that De Vries has his hands on the information will heighten the OM’s concerns.
The OM tried to dampen the news by claiming the information on the laptop was at least 18 months old. But a spokesperson admitted the incident was “very stupid”.
De Vries is a thorn in the side of the police and prosecutors. He has extensive contacts within the police and the criminal world and frequently solves cases that the police have either ignored or given up on.
The latest is the Baarn murder case for which Paul de R. was jailed for life on Wednesday.
Hans and Rita Muller’s remains were found in an improvised grave earlier this year on a children’s farm in Baarn. The defendant, Paul de R., had run the farm for many years.
The Mullers went missing in 1999 and family friend De R. brazenly moved into their house shortly afterwards. He claimed they had asked him to.
He explained their absence by claiming they had joined a sect in Belgium and that he was the only person who still had occasional contact with them.
Concerned neighbours eventually alerted police, who refused to investigate the matter. The neighbours then turned to De Vries who helped re-open the case by exposing the murderer’s lies by simple investigative techniques.
He confirmed that the couple had a history of medical problems, but had not used their medical insurance after their disappearance or withdrawn money from their back account.
Last year, De Vries also proved himself a better investigator than the state security service AIVD when he confirmed Mabel Wisse Smit — who went on to marry Prince Johan Friso — had been less than frank about her previous relationship with murdered drug kingpin Klaas Bruinsma.
The security service failed to find anyone who contradicted her assertion that Bruinsma was nothing more than a distant acquaintance.
De Vries tracked down Bruinsma’s former bodyguard Charlie de Silva in Chile, who claimed Wisse Smit and Bruinsma had been lovers.
The resulting controversy meant Prince Friso lost his rights to the throne when he married Mabel in April this year without the approval of the Dutch Parliament.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news