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Dutch lawyers tapped, ministry says

Dutch government officials have acknowledged the country's secret service sometimes taps the communications of lawyers who represent terrorism suspects.

A law firm specialising in human rights complained to the interior ministry in April that it suspected its lawyers were being tapped, violating lawyer-client secrecy.

The interior ministry responded by ordering the commission overseeing the agency to investigate.

In a letter dated December 15 and published on the Prakken d'Oliveira human rights lawyers firm's website today, interior minister Ronald Plasterk said the investigation found the secret service is entitled to tap confidential communication in some circumstances and had correctly followed internal protocol in doing so.

However, the investigation criticised the secret service for, in some cases, writing up the content of lawyers' personal communications that "cannot be considered as relevant for any investigation".

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