Inquiry into Erdal's escape 'turning into a cover-up'
The former chief of the Belgian security service VS-SE was run through the mill by a Senate commission on Tuesday as the fallout from the escape of Turkish militant Fehriye Erdal continued.
The intelligence service's supervisory body, Committee I, subsequently demanded and won promises from the VS-SE that it would be given insight into more documents relating to Erdal's disappearance.
The promise came after the committee's Senate commission had earlier temporarily suspended its meeting out of dissatisfaction about the documents the VS-SE had already released.
The security service subsequently promised to release more documents over the surveillance of
Erdal. The documents date back to the start of this year.
The Committee I will therefore be able to investigate how Erdal managed to disappear while under surveillance by the security service. However, the committee will still not be supplied with every document.
Liberal VLD Senator Paul Wille and Socialist SP.A politician Ludwig Vandenhove said former VS-SE boss Koen Dassen wants to only release documents which will not place security service agents in danger.
But opposition Christian Democrat CD&V Senator Hugo Vandenberghe said this was not sufficient, demanding that every document declassified.
"It would be unacceptable if they would be kept hidden from the Parliament. That would be more like a police state, something that [Interior Minister Patrick] Dewael wants to combat," he said.
"I can, of course, not reconcile myself with methods that are those of a police state, namely; that dossiers are covered up because they might be adverse for the government."
Earlier, Dassen had read allowed to the commission documents that indicated the security service had warned Dewael three times that Erdal might try and escape. The VS-SE also proposed alternative measures to prevent her escape.
The commission will discuss the escape of Erdal again on Wednesday.
Posted by: lotp 2006-03-08