The security service AIVD has been ordered to immediately stop tapping the phones of several Telegraaf journalists in an effort to find out who leaked secret information to the newspaper.
Last month, an AIVD employee and her partner, who used to work for the same service, were arrested on suspicion of supplying state secrets to journalist Jolande van der Graaf. The public prosecution department is currently investigating the case.
Amsterdam district court said on Thursday afternoon the taps had to be stopped straight away and none of the information gained from the taps can be passed on to the public prosecution department.
But earlier on Thursday, Haarlem district court ruled the AIVD was within its rights to raid Van der Graaf’s home looking for stolen information in connection with the case. But all files, and notebooks which do not relate directly to this case must be returned to the Telegraaf, the court said.
Both verdicts relate to Telegraaf newspaper exclusives earlier this year.
In one, the paper accused AIVD staff of simply copying reports about Iran’s alleged weapons of mass destruction from Britain’s M16 and other foreign security services, without any independent verification of the facts. The Netherlands supported the invasion of Iraq partly on the basis of AIVD reports.
The second focuses on claims that threats had been made against the Dalai Lama during his visit to the Netherlands in June.
The AIVD is to appeal against the Amsterdam court ruling, Nos tv reports on Friday.
MPs have asked home affairs minister Guusje ter Horst to explain why she gave permission for the journalists’ phones to be tapped in the first place.