The Dutch secret service was wrong to tap the telephones of two Telegraaf journalists and demand the return of documents, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.
The Telegraaf took the AIVD to court after secret service officials tapped the phones and followed crime reporters Joost de Haas and Bart Mos to try and identify their sources.
The AIVD became involved after De Haas and Mos reported secret information about the activities of master criminal Mink K, a suspected international drugs and arms trader, which ended up in the criminal circuit.
The court ruled the AIVD should not have used ‘special’ detection techniques against the journalists because this had not been approved in court. Approval by the then home affairs minister was not sufficient, the court said.
In addition, the so-called secret documents had long been in the hands of a criminal organisation and the demand they be handed over was purely to try and identify the sources, the court said in its ruling.
Read the full ruling (in English)