Friday, Sep 19th

LATEST:
You are here: Islands Islands News Dutch security agency spied on Booi, El Hage

Dutch security agency spied on Booi, El Hage

THE HAGUE--Bonaire politicians Burney el Hage and Ramonsito Booi have been illegally spied on by the Dutch intelligence and security agency AIVD, the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad reported on Thursday. The Dutch Labour Party is seeking clarity from the Dutch Government.

The two politicians of the UPB party were watched by the AIVD between 2005 and 2010, the newspaper reported. Both men are suspected in the Zambezi corruption and fraud case which the Court will handle on Monday, November 25.

Booi has been charged with four cases of corruption and forgery in a notary deed, while El Hage is accused of having committed mortgage fraud and corruption. El Hage has tendered his resignation as Commissioner and former Commissioner and Member of the Antillean Parliament Booi is no longer the leader of the UPB party.

According to NRC Handelsblad, the AIVD operation was illegal and took place without knowledge or consent of the Government of the Netherlands Antilles under which Bonaire resorted at the time.

The AIVD was only allowed to carry out information and safety operations in Bonaire with the permission of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Antilles or the head of the Antillean intelligence agency VNA.

Former Prime Minister Emily de Jongh-Elhage told the newspaper that she knew nothing of the AIVD operation. "I am shocked," she said. The AIVD operation should have been carried out under the supervision and authority of the VNA.

The AIVD reportedly gathered information via informants. The information apparently indicated that Booi and Elhage might have been involved in corruption and abuse of power. A spokesperson of the AIVD told the newspaper that it never commented on individual cases.

Sources said that top civil servants of the Dutch Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK had knowledge about the information gathered by the AIVD. According to the sources the situation was "problematic" for the Ministry because Booi and Elhage were involved in the negotiations with The Hague to integrate Bonaire in the Netherlands. On October 10, 2010, Bonaire became a public entity of the Netherlands, along with St. Eustatius and Saba.

At the time of the negotiations, the UPB party had been in power for more than ten years and the party was also a member of the Antillean Council of Ministers. Elhage was Minister of Economic Affairs between 2006 and 2007.

The Hague kept the negotiations with the UPB politicians going despite the "worrisome" AIVD reports, stated NRC journalist Joep Dohmen in the article. The AIVD continued keeping an eye on the movements of Booi and Elhage.

The Public Prosecutor's Office initiated a criminal investigation of Booi and Elhage after then State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ank Bijleveld-Schouten reached an agreement on the constitutional future of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. Dutch detectives carried out house searches at the residencies of Booi and El- hage in September 2009.

The newspaper article prompted Members of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Roelof van Laar and Jeroen Recourt, both of the PvdA, to pose written questions to Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk, also of the PvdA.

The Members of Parliament (MPs) want to know if indeed the AIVD spied on Booi and Elhage and whether this operation was legal or illegal. They asked the Minister if he was aware of this operation and whether he had given permission for it.

"Were the politicians in Bonaire informed before or after this operation? Are other politicians in the Kingdom being bugged at this moment? Did this operation have influence on the negotiations for a new constitutional future of Bonaire? Did the information lead to a criminal investigation," asked Van Laar and Recourt.

Ramonsito Booi stated in a short reaction Thursday afternoon: "I will be the most sought, investigated and scrutinized politician of the Caribbean if the report in the NRC Handelsblad is true."

Image
Bigger, special medevac helicopter for Statia, Saba
Friday, 19 September 2014
THE HAGUE--Canadian company National Helicopters will remain the medical evacuation provider for... Read more...
Fight was not public violence, as statements didn’t specify details
Friday, 19 September 2014
PHILIPSBURG--Three men stood accused of various offences in connection with a fight that took place... Read more...
Image
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Chief Justice pleads for more funds
Thursday, 18 September 2014
THE VALLEY, Anguilla--Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Justice Janice Pereira... Read more...
Image
Caribbean becoming less competitive due to increasing aviation taxes, IATA warns
Thursday, 18 September 2014
ST. THOMAS, US Virgin Islands--The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) Tuesday... Read more...
Image
Arab Bank never backed Hamas, lawyer tells jury
Thursday, 18 September 2014
NEW YORK-- Arab Bank Plc never provided material support for the Palestinian group Hamas, a lawyer... Read more...
Image
U.S. inflation surprisingly weak, Fed keeps low rates pledge
Thursday, 18 September 2014
WASHINGTON-- U.S. consumer prices fell for the first time in nearly 1-1/2 years in August and... Read more...
Image
Hollande asks Europe for patience with France
Thursday, 18 September 2014
PARIS-- President Francois Hollande pleaded with Germany and other European partners on Thursday to... Read more...
Image
Islamic State beheadings a concern for mankind
Thursday, 18 September 2014
WASHINGTON-- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denounced Islamic State's beheading of innocent... Read more...
Image
Alibaba IPO prices at top of range, raising $21.8 bln
Thursday, 18 September 2014
NEW YORK- - Alibaba Group Holding priced its initial public offering at $68 a share, the top end... Read more...
Image
Pro-pot activists launch first U.S. 'Consume Responsibly' campaign
Thursday, 18 September 2014
DENVER-- Taking a cheeky jab at a New York Times columnist who had a bad experience with... Read more...
Image
State sectarianism
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Dear Editor, After reading Wycliffe Smith's letter in The Daily Herald on September 17 I agree with... Read more...
Image
Fed up
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Dear Queenie, My boss is quite well-off, maybe you’d even call him rich. The problem is he’s... Read more...
Image
Sevilla sparkle as Europa returns with goal glut
Thursday, 18 September 2014
LONDON-- Sevilla's love affair with the Europa League was immediately rekindled as last season's... Read more...
Image
St. Martin’s Brown hits game winner
Thursday, 18 September 2014
GERMANY—The French National Baseball team advanced to the next round of the 2014 European... Read more...
Image
Sophia Loren, Italy's national icon, turns 80 with book of memoirs
Thursday, 18 September 2014
ROME-- Sophia Loren, Italy's national cinema icon and eternal diva, turns 80 this week and is... Read more...
Image
Jaguar XKE stolen in NY in 1968 recovered
Thursday, 18 September 2014
NEW YORK-- U.S. authorities have recovered a Jaguar XKE stolen 46 years ago outside a New York City... Read more...
Image
Dine - Beirut
Wednesday, 17 September 2014
~ Tasty fare for all ~ Beirut is new on the block and right on the road next to RBC Bank in Simpson... Read more...
Image
Glow Ride
Wednesday, 17 September 2014
Bike-a-thon ~ Glow in the dark fun ride in Simpson Bay ~ This fun event is taking place this... Read more...
Editorial - Definitely possible
Friday, 19 September 2014
The many legal twists and turns surrounding Caravanserai Resort in the previous months and years... Read more...
Editorial - Joint effort
Thursday, 18 September 2014
The Pointe Blanche prison remains in the news as authorities unveiled a package of measures to... Read more...
Image
Friday Sep 19, 2014
Friday, 19 September 2014
Image
Thursday Sep 18, 2014
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Notices September 18
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Friday, September 19 PEACE RALLY A march and a manifestation hosted by Peace IS Foundation and the... Read more...
Notices September 17
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Friday, September 19 PEACE RALLY A march and a manifestation hosted by Peace IS Foundation and the... Read more...