The Dutch intelligence service (AIVD) has been ordered to stop eavesdropping on telephone calls made by two newspaper journalists who have written about leaking of files to crime bosses, expatica reported last Wednesday.

A court in The Hague made the ruling on last Tuesday after Telegraaf journalists Joost de Haas and Bart Mos complained they have been monitored by the AIVD since January. They claim their phone calls have been tapped and they have been followed. The AIVD refused to confirm whether it has been eavesdropping on the pair.

The reporters wrote at the beginning of the year that police files about crime boss Mink Kok had fallen into the hands of the drugs mafia. Copies of these top secret documents were handed to the journalists. De Haas and Mos contacted the AIVD before filing the story which included information from the secret files. The court ordered the AIVD to stop monitoring the journalists within two days. Lawyer Michiel Pestman who represented the newspaper said this was the first time the courts have ruled against the intelligence service in this way.

The AIVD also been ordered to destroy all information gathered about the journalists. Meanwhile prosecutors are still investigating whether de Haas and Mos can be prosecuted for revealing state secrets. Interior Minister Johan Remkes is to appeal the court decision, but nothing further came from government officials about the decision or its possible effect.