Soldiers suspended over partners without security clearance

Wedding ringsFive soldiers who have been suspended because their partners cannot be given security clearance by the secret service are taking their cases to court, newspaper Trouw reports.

The soldiers’ partners come from countries with which the military security service MIVD does not have a screening agreement. This means they cannot be given formal clearance, which is required for the partners of military personnel who are sent on missions or who have access to confidential information.

The regulation was introduced in November 2013. Soldiers who met their partner before that date are exempt from the ruling but lawyer SĂ©bas Diekstra claims this did not happen with the five soldiers he represents.

The problem covers partners from many countries in Africa and the Middle East, but also Morocco and Turkey, news agency ANP says.

Military personnel whose partners cannot be given clearance can eventually be sacked. Defence minister Jeanine Hennis said in October she is working on an option which would allow soldiers to be given other work pending more research into their partners.

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