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Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - 15:47
Report: Justice Min. blocks MH17 document release
The Dutch government is refusing to unseal documents regarding the actions of the Cabinet in the aftermath of the MH17 disaster. This is according to Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice' response to RTL Nieuws call on the Freedom of Information Act to disclose as much information as possible because of the massive impact the MH17 had on Dutch society, the news agency reports. The Minister acknowledges that the disaster did have a big impact and related in much social and political discussion, but that secrecy is more important. According to Van der Steur, the fact that the request relates to information on the resolution of the disaster does not give the importance of public access extra weight. In April the National Coordinator for Counter-terrorism and Security released hundreds of documents related to the MH17 disaster after news agencies NOS, RTL and the Volkskrant appealed to the Freedom of Information Act. The 575 released documents mostly consist of emails exchanged within the National Crisis Core Team after the disaster. Parts of the documents were blacked out, to protect the privacy of people who appear in the documents and to allow officials to have an “unfettered exchange of arguments.” RTL objected to the fact that information was blocked out and asked that all decisions from the ministerial crisis team reports be made public, so that the governments actions can be reconstructed. The Minister refused because the decisions are "interwoven" with the opinions of officials and politicians. "For this reason the disclosure of factual information must also be refused", the Minister wrote.