Court rules out evidence gathered during border controls

Dutch immigration police patrols on the borders with Belgium and Germany still conflict with the Schengen open border rules, Den Bosch appeal court said on Friday.

The court used the argument in dismissing three criminal cases based on evidence gathered during border controls. Because the evidence was found during checks which conflict with EU rules, the information could not be used in court and three suspects were found not guilty.
Border police checks are aimed at combating people smuggling, drugs smuggling and other forms of cross-border crime. The court said that while the mobile checks are not the same as fixed border controls, they have the same effect.
Schengen rules
Last year, the council of state said the checks were too similar to formal border controls, which have been scrapped in the Schengen open border agreement since 1985.
New rules brought in by immigration minister Gerd Leers state that police can only check eight cross-border trains a day. Cars and lorries can be controlled for 90 hours a month – but only a percentage of passing vehicles may be stopped.
In terms of air traffic, a selection of passengers on seven flights a week from Schengen countries can be asked for their passports.

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