One or more Dutch MPs have leaked confidential information about security matters to the media, the public prosecution department said on Wednesday evening.
However, no legal action can be taken against the MPs concerned by the department because it is considered to be a ‘crime of office’ and it is up to parliament to decide what should happen next.
The leak focuses on the government’s repeated denial in 2013 that details about 1.8 million phone calls and internet messages made in the Netherlands were passed to the US security services.
Home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk was later forced to backtrack after claims were made in the media he had told a parliamentary committee which deals with confidential security issues about the information agreement with the US.
Most party leaders are members of that committee but its work is supposed to be completely confidential.
Broadcaster Nos says parliament is faced with a serious dilemma. If MPs decide not to follow up the report, it will damage the reputation of parliament and the committee itself. The committee was set up to give MPs some semblance of ‘control’ over the security services.
If it does decide to investigate, there is a real risk that a prominent MP, possibly a member of the coalition government, could be involved, the broadcaster says. That person would then have to appear before the high court and could face up to a year in prison or a fine of €20,250.
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