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Dutch News
MPs want explanation on foreign services 3/1/2007
AMSTERDAM - The PvdA wants clarification from Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin on illegal operations in the Netherlands by foreign investigation services.

MP Aleid Wolfsen said this on Tuesday after reports that various foreign investigation services from the US, Germany and probably Italy have violated Dutch sovereignty by conducting investigations in the Netherlands without the necessary permission.

Foreign investigation services may only operate in the Netherlands provided that they first obtain permission and that they subsequently adhere to Dutch regulations and work under Dutch supervision.

Sources within the justice department confirm that there have been a number of incidents in which foreign investigation officials were active in the Netherlands without permission. Foreign surveillance teams (from Germany and elsewhere) have reported that they carried out their work in the Netherlands.

Wolfsen wants to know whether the minister is aware of the operations undertaken in the Netherlands without permission, and if so, what actions the minister took against the countries in question and what these measures resulted in.

"International cooperation is based on trust," Wolfsen says. "If it should turn out that foreign investigation officials are acting in the Netherlands without regard for treaties, that compromises the very essence of that trust."

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