Monday

27th May 2019

Stern reporter drags Belgium to European Court of Human Rights

Hans-Martin Tillack, Stern magazine's former Brussels correspondent, is taking Belgium to the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The German journalist is seeking the return of some 1,000 pages of documents that were seized by Belgian police in March 2004.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • The International Federation of Journalists is concerned over the protection of the journalist’s sources (Photo: EUobserver)

Officers raided Mr Tillack's home on the wishes of the European Commission's anti-fraud watchdog, OLAF.

The fraud body alleged that Mr Tillack may have bribed an EU official to get secret information.

But no formal charge has been brought against him to date.

Mr Tillack has tried to retrieve his documents via the Belgian legal system, but to no avail.

His plea is set to be filed in late April or early May.

Mr Tillack also has an appeal pending at the EU's Court of First Instance (CFI).

The CFI rejected his request for interim measures to stop OLAF gaining access to the seized documents last October.

Meanwhile, Jos Colpin, the Belgian police spokesperson, said officers are still investigating the case.

Mr Tillack sparked controversy in 2002 by publishing a series of exposés on fraud in the Commission and its statistical arm, Eurostat, based on internal documents.

But Stern magazine refuted OLAF's suggestion that officials could have been bribed.

The International Federation of Journalists has expressed concern over the rights of journalists and their sources in Belgium in response to Mr Tillack's treatment.

German journalist gets court backing in EU leak case

The European Court for Human Rights on Tuesday ruled that Belgian police violated the right to freedom of expression of a Brussels-based German journalist by raiding his home and office back in 2004.

Europol busts global cybercrime gang

A loose network of cyber criminals recruited from an online Russian forum managed to infect thousands of computers in an effort to steal online banking credentials. The gang has been dismantled, with some now on the run.

Stalling on VAT reform costing billions, says Commission

German media outlet Correctiv, along with other newsrooms, have revealed how criminals annually cheat EU states out of billions in VAT fraud. The EU Commission says solutions exist - but member states refuse to budge on tax unanimity.

EU justice 'barometer' hindered by data gaps

Some member states continue to impede the European Commission's annual attempt to define the state of Europe's justice system, by not providing data on their national situations.

Opinion

A fundamental contradiction in EU drug policy

The knock-on affects from a 'war on drugs' in Europe is creating problems in Albania - and as far afield as Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  3. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  4. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  5. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  6. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  11. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  12. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us