A special committee set up to investigate claims that one or more MPs leaked highly confidential information to the media has found no evidence that confidentiality rules were breached.
The committee was set up last November after the public prosecution department said there had been a leak of sensitive information which had been given to party leaders in confidence.
The leak focused 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.
The investigation concluded that secret information had repeatedly and over a long period of time ended up in the hands of the media. However, the investigating committee said it had been given an ‘impossible mission’.
Asked if people had lied, ChristenUnie MP Carola Schouten said her team had done all they could. There are no reasonable suspicions of guilt and no reason to believe people interviewed had not told the truth, she said.
Nevertheless, RTL news commentator Frits Wester said the results of the investigation are ‘extremely disappointing’.
‘This damages the image of politicians,’ he said. ‘It remains unclear who leaked the information and does nothing to dispel the idea that politicians in The Hague sweep this sort of issue under the carpet.’
Wester also said that MPs had not used all the means at their disposal, such as questioning fellow parliamentarians under oath, to find out who said what to journalists.
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