Amsterdam officials eavesdropped on in corruption investigation

Amsterdam's city hall the Stopera (Photo: MichielverbeekNL/Wikimedia Commons). (Amsterdam's city hall the Stopera (Photo: MichielverbeekNL/Wikimedia Commons))

Employees of Amsterdam's radicalization department were eavesdropped on and observed by a police team in the search of malpractice evidence against Saadia Ait-Taleb, her lawyer revealed in a pro-forma hearing in the criminal case against Ait-Taleb and co-defendant Said J. on Thursday. Ait-Taleb and J. are suspected of forging three invoices, Het Parool reports.

According to lawyer Richard Korver, undercover police officers eavesdropped on civil servants in the canteen of Amsterdam's city hall. The Public Prosecutor did not contradict this. Korver said that the police officers found this task a waste of capacity. 

Ait-Taleb was dismissed in July 2017 after her working method caused major administrative unrest. She is now being prosecuted for forging three invoices together with Said J. According to the Public Prosecutor, J. submitted three invoices of 18 thousand euros each for work that was never done.

According to Ait-Taleb and J., however, the work was done, but was deliberately kept off the books because it was confidential. J. worked on the so-called 'gray campaign' - a campaign that was never implemented in which the municipality wanted to release films to discourage young people from becoming radicalized. 

The two suspects' lawyers want to call a number of witnesses, including Ait-Taleb's former superiors Ruud IJzelendoorn and Lisa Scheerders to give the court insight on how confidential the 'gray campaign' was and on the work done by J. They also want British radicalization expert David Kenning to testify. The court is considering these requests.