NETHERLANDS: Two journalists jailed for not revealing sources

November 27, 2006
Posted December 13, 2006

Bart Mos,
De Telegraaf
Joost de Haas,
De Telegraaf

An investigating judge in The Hague ordered the detention of Mos and de Haas for not revealing the identity of sources for a story they wrote for the Amsterdam-based independent daily De Telegraaf. On January 21, Mos and de Haas published the first in a series of articles about alleged access of the local mafia to classified files of the Dutch intelligence service, De Telegraaf editor Schell Paradigs told CPJ.

On November 27, Mos and de Haas appeared at a pretrial hearing in The Hague as witnesses in a criminal case against an unnamed suspect accused of selling state secrets to members of organized crime groups. Mos and de Haas obtained the same documents the suspect is accused of selling for their January story, De Telegraaf reporters told CPJ. The judge ordered Mos and de Haas detained after they refused to tell the court who had given them the documents for the story, saying they had to protect their sources.
Although Mos and de Haas were never charged with committing a crime, their detention was “a coercive measure to make them comply with their legal obligations as witnesses,” the Counselor for Police and Judicial Affairs Richard Gerding told CPJ.

Mos and de Haas were released on November 30.