Dutch Intelligence Service (AIVD) taps Prakken d'Oliveira lawyers

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Amsterdam, 18 December 2014 - It turns out that the Dutch Intelligence Service (‘AIVD’) has often tapped the lawyers of Prakken d’Oliveira , and has done so for a long time. The Dutch minister of the interior held that a complaint filed about the tapping of Prakken d’Oliveira was partially justified. Prakken d’Oliveira considers a change in regulations a matter of urgent necessity.

The lawyers of Prakken d’Oliveira filed their complaint because, for years now, they have suspected that they were being tapped by the AIVD. The advice issued by the supervisory committee - which the minister adopted - reveals that the AIVD has often tapped conversations between clients or third parties, and lawyers working at Prakken d’Oliveira.  ‘[C]ommunication that can clearly not be considered relevant for any investigation by the AIVD' was also transcribed. 

Prakken d’Oliveira is of the opinion that the attorney-client-privilege is insufficiently respected by the AIVD. The current regulatory framework regarding the tapping of lawyers is severely flawed. According to the minister, the AIVD is allowed to tap a lawyer’s telephone conversations, even if that lawyer himself is not a threat to national security.  Prakken d’Oliveira thinks that the regulations need to be amended so that a lawyer’s conversations can only be tapped after a judge has given permission to do so.

Prakken d’Oliveira is shocked by the information provided by the minister. In a democratic society, it is imperative that citizens can speak with their lawyers confidentially, even if they may be the subject of AIVD-investigations. The European Convention for Human Rights acknowledges this right, as well as the absolute necessity to protect it.

Click here for the decision by the minister of the interior (available in Dutch).

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