Lawyers fight against illegal phone tapping

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No image availableNL Times

The impending debate in the House of Parliament over spying will see the biggest lawyers in military criminal law demanding the secret service MIVD for clarity about illegal phone taps.  Mr. Michael Ruperti and professor Geert-Jan Knoops will begin today under article 47 of the Law on the information and safety services, with a formal procedure to examinations in their personal data.

Ruperti has learned from various sources within Defense that confidential conversations with clients have been monitored. Besides his own practice, also that of Knoops was mentioned in these. "The MIVD gets away with everything under the guise of 'state secrets'", Ruperti says. "I learn far too often that his happens. Now the service has to give an answer within three months. This procedure is also a signal to politics that the secret service often has free reign and possibly sometimes spies without mediation from the minister." Also various clients of Geert-Jan Knoops have claimed that their channels are being examined by the MIVD. "With this it concerns, among others, Dutchbatters who do demand damage claims from the State", Knoops says. "One of them now works nota bene for the National Police. Also in the case of convicted spy F-16 pilot Chris Vaneker, the MIVD had great interest in eavesdropping on conversations." According to Knoops, the secret service can easily whitewash illegal phone taps. "By going to the Public Prosecution Service, the Royal Military Police or the Criminal Intelligence Service with a warrant to make up what they have allowed to be recorded earlier. Then this information suddenly 'comes from a formal source' and is no longer retrievable for us by the usual method. It's in the interest of the law to gain clarity on this." Ruperti and Knoops press that the police and Bureau of Investigation are under legal obligation to erase phone taps once it concerns conversations between lawyers and clients. The MIVD does not have to lay the blame with anyone. "An Afghanistan veteran spoke to be about the support he got from his superiors", Michael Ruperti tells. "Shortly afterwards, he was approached by the MIVD. They knew everything, and that's only possible if they heard us. About those taps, nothing could be found in the file. Cowboy practices against which, until now, nobody has done anything." Defense spokesperson Otte Beeksma said "sirs Knoops and Ruperti are free, just like any other Dutch person, to examine their personal files. Defense will give them an answer within the proposed lawful time period."