Sunday, May 21, 2006

Dutch newspaper editors want to meet Internal Intelligence Service (AIVD) about wiretaps

This blog reported earlier about the investigation of the office of the Public Prosecutor against two Dutch journalists who uncovered a leak in the Internal Intelligence Service (AIVD).

The subject of the case is a Dutch Gun and Drugs Merchant: Mink Kok. The Internal Intelligence Service regards Mink Kok the most dangerous criminal in the Netherlands, due to his corrupt contacts in the investigative branch of the police and the same AIVD. Kok spends 2 million Euros per year on bribing officials. He has been doing that for 15 years. One of the corrupt officials was Paul H. Paul H. was a secret agent for the AIVD from 1980 and 2001. He was arrested on may the 4th. Paul H. had been sending letters with sensitive information to Mink Kok for years, detailing to Mink Kok any progress the police and secret service might have made in gathering information on Mink's activities and organisation.

Mink Kok is now serving time for the 1993 murder (Dutch) on big time pot dealer Jaap van der Heijden. Mink appears to be still in charge of his organisation. Mink Kok and his organisation continued to receive information from their informants within the Dutch security apparatus while the leader was in jail.

The journalists, Bart Mos and Joost de Haas, found (Dutch) out from their own sources in the police, that information from the Ministry of Justice and the AIVD against Mink Kok's organisation was passed on to Mink.

In a baffling twist the police arrested the two journalists and detained them, forcing them to give a DNA sample to the public prosecutor and demanding they rat on their sources. Bart Mos and Joost de Haas have refused.

Even more baffling is the revelation that the Internal Intelligence Service (AIVD) has been wiretapping the journalists for months in order to get hold of their sources.

Today several Dutch newspaper editors have requested talks with the Internal Intelligence Service (AIVD), stated chief editor Arend Joustra of Elsevier.

Mr. Joustra stated the public interest demands that the public is informed by independent journalists. The wiretapping of investigative journalists compromises the sources of said journalists, as informants will not come forward if they fear journalists may - unwittingly - be ears for police and the Internal Security Services. Moreover wistleblowing on corruption and collaboration between personnel of Security Services, the Judiciary and the Police is very difficult under such circumstances.

According to a recently published report criminal networks are becoming increasingly powerful in Amsterdam and other mayor Dutch cities. The have a strongly corrupting influence on police and other government and municipal services.

The Guild of Main Editors and the Dutch Society for Journalists have a meeting scheduled with the leadership of the Office of the Prosecution on June the 15th. This is a regular meeting which will be used to raise the issue of AIVD interference with investigative journalism.

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