Tuesday, Jul 28th

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

health-city-587x73-3

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."

CPS urges public to stay hydrated, extreme heat can cause sickness
Wednesday, 29 July 2015
PHILIPSBURG--As the temperature continues to remain high, Collective Prevention Services (CPS) is... Read more...
Coastal residents advised to plan for storm surge flooding
Wednesday, 29 July 2015
PHILIPSBURG--Coastal residents are advised by the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) to have plans... Read more...
Image
Caribbean on high alert against bird flu
Tuesday, 28 July 2015
BRIDGETOWN--Veterinary officers and stakeholders in the poultry sector in the Caribbean are on high... Read more...
Image
One escapee murdered, surviving one surrenders
Monday, 27 July 2015
PORT OF SPAIN--The hunt for two of the prisoners who broke out of prison last Friday ended Sunday,... Read more...
Image
Kerry warns Congress scrapping Iran deal would mean path to nuclear arms
Tuesday, 28 July 2015
WASHINGTON--Secretary of State John Kerry intensified efforts on Tuesday to beat back criticism of... Read more...
Image
Los Angeles passes law banning large-capacity gun magazines
Tuesday, 28 July 2015
LOS ANGELES--The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to ban the possession of large-capacity... Read more...
Image
As peace talks advance, Colombia struggles to find its missing
Tuesday, 28 July 2015
CHAGUANI, Colombia--Swinging a pickaxe high above his head, the sweating former Marxist guerrilla... Read more...
Image
Libyan court sentences Gaddafi son Saif, eigth other ex-officials to death
Tuesday, 28 July 2015
TRIPOLI--A Libyan court on Tuesday sentenced Muammar Gaddafi's most prominent son, Saif al-Islam,... Read more...
Image
Hollande gambles on jobs growth for 2nd term bid
Wednesday, 29 July 2015
PARIS--French President Francois Hollande, who has long pledged only run for a second term in... Read more...
Image
China shares fall again as Beijing scrambles to calm stock markets
Wednesday, 29 July 2015
SHANGHAI--Chinese shares fell on Tuesday, as Beijing scrambled once again to prop up a stock market... Read more...
Image
Seek out meaningful cooperation with the Dutch Government
Tuesday, 28 July 2015
Dear Editor, I am one proud Democrat. The opportunities for St. Eustatius that are available under... Read more...
Image
Fed up
Tuesday, 28 July 2015
Dear Queenie, A few of us friends used to get together now and then and go out to dinner, but some... Read more...
Image
F1 summer break? Time to get the learner plates on
Tuesday, 28 July 2015
LONDON-- While Formula One rivals head to the sea or mountains at the start of the August break,... Read more...
Image
Cardinals hailed for hiring NFL's first female coach
Tuesday, 28 July 2015
ARIZONA-- The Arizona Cardinals were being hailed as groundbreakers on Tuesday after hiring the... Read more...
Image
American dentist accused of killing popular Cecil the lion
Tuesday, 28 July 2015
HARARE--Wildlife officials on Tuesday accused an American hunter of killing Cecil, one of the... Read more...
Image
Griswolds back on the road for family trip in Vacation
Tuesday, 28 July 2015
LOS ANGELES--More than 30 years after his father took him on a road trip to the Walley World theme... Read more...
Image
Secret History: African-American Baseball Players in Japan
Friday, 24 July 2015
In the fall of 1936, a 24-year-old African-American baseball player from rural Louisiana stepped... Read more...
Economic woes not over
Friday, 24 July 2015
By Terry Nisbett Jamaica is paying more to the Internal Monetary Fund (IMF) than it is getting in... Read more...
Editorial - Unproductive approach
Tuesday, 28 July 2015
The long-awaited Transparency International (TI) report is out and the general conclusions are not... Read more...
Editorial - Single market
Monday, 27 July 2015
That Member of Parliament (MP) Maurice Lake is concerned about the cost of living on the island... Read more...
Image
Tuesday July 28, 2015
Tuesday, 28 July 2015
Image
Monday July 27, 2015
Monday, 27 July 2015
Notices July 29
Tuesday, 28 July 2015
Spay/Neuter Campaign St. Maarten Animal Welfare Continuing through August their $25 pet spay or... Read more...
Notices July 28
Monday, 27 July 2015
First Responder WIEMS is now registering for the annual First Responder (EMR) course at the Dutch... Read more...