Four Limburg police officers face charges for intimidation and abusing powers


Four police officers in Limburg are being prosecuted for intimidating suspects, breaching official secrecy and abusing their powers.

The three men and one woman were dismissed from the force two years ago for severe dereliction of duty, prompting a criminal investigation by the prosecution service.

Their dismissal was part of a huge disciplinary investigation carried out by 30 detectives that examined tens of thousands of messages sent by the officers, during which 160 witnesses were questioned.

Sentences handed down in four court cases were quashed after the prosecution service found the officers had breached procedures. ‘They did things like carry out house searches without first being granted access to the properties as required by law,’ prosecutor Fanny Hillhorst told NRC.

The prosecution service said the four officers were suspected of ‘bullying, undermining behaviour, intimidation, breaching official secrecy and abusing police powers.’

But the decision was criticised by police union NPB, which said it was ‘inhumane’ to charge the officers when they had already been punished by being removed from their jobs.

‘These officers weren’t out to enrich themselves but were trying to catch thieves,’ said chairman Jan Struijs.

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