Tulip fraud suspects released after mistake

Three people accused of being behind a €85m fraud involving tulip bulbs have been released by judges in The Hague because of mistakes by the public prosecution department, the NRC reports.

The prosecution’s case has been compromised because conversations between the suspects and their lawyers were secretly recorded and the information used to build the case, the NRC states.
The judges said the defendants’ rights had been abused ‘systematically and on a large scale’.
Recording conversations with lawyers is allowed under Dutch law, provided the recordings are destroyed immediately to protect confidentiality.
This is the third time that judges have thrown out a case because confidential discussions have been recorded and used against defendants.
Last year, a case against a number of Hells Angels collapsed because secret recordings between suspects and their lawyers had not been destroyed. Judges said then the public prosecution department had ‘seriously… and repeatedly broken the rules’.

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