Tuesday

23rd May 2017

Belgian police drop case against EU journalist

The Belgian police have said they will return almost a thousand pages of documents to a former Brussels journalist, ending a years-long saga that was judged a violation of freedom of expression by the European Court of Human Rights.

On Wednesday (30 January), Belgian police commissioner Philippe Charlier informed the Brussels office of German news magazine Stern that the documents confiscated in 2004 will be returned.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Mr Tillack will donate €10,000 to the relief fund of the International Federation of Journalists (Photo: EUobserver)

They were removed in a raid of Stern journalist Hans-Martin Tillack's home and office after the EU's anti-fraud office (OLAF) suggested he had bribed EU officials in order to be able to publish an article on alleged irregularities in the OLAF office.

The article, published in 2002, was based on leaked documents from the anti-fraud organisation.

Acting on a tip-off from OLAF, Belgian police detained Mr Tillack for several hours, searched his home and office, and seized 16 boxes of documents, two archive boxes, two computers and four mobile phones.

Taking the case to court, Mr Tillack was vindicated late last year when the European court of human rights said that his right to freedom of expression had been violated.

The court also asked Belgium to pay the journalist €10,000 for "moral damages" as well as €30,000 in costs - something the Belgian authorities have now agreed to do.

Mr Tillack has said he will donate the €10,000 to the relief fund of the International Federation of Journalists, which supported him throughout the case.

Children among dead in UK bomb attack

Children are among the victims after a suspected suicide bomber detonated at the Manchester Arena on Monday, the latest in a string of terror attacks to hit Europe.

EU and US discuss in-flight laptop ban

A meeting between US and EU officials in Brussels on possibly imposing a laptop ban on commercial flights was described by one senior Trump administration official as "robust".

EU visa waiver looms for Russia-annexed Crimeans

Visa liberalisation for Ukrainians entering the EU will also apply to inhabitants of the peninsula taken over by Moscow in 2014. But the issue poses administrative as well as political problems.

US questions visa waivers for EU nationals

A Republican congressman heading a taskforce on denying terrorists entry into the United States says that EU nationals pose a security risk, as some have fought alongside jihadists and wouldn't need visas to enter the US.

EU keeps visa-free travel for US visitors

Efforts by the European Parliament to scupper visa-free travel for Americans, in light of US restrictions on some EU states, were dashed on Tuesday by the European Commission.

EU visa waiver looms for Russia-annexed Crimeans

Visa liberalisation for Ukrainians entering the EU will also apply to inhabitants of the peninsula taken over by Moscow in 2014. But the issue poses administrative as well as political problems.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersBecome an Explorer - 'Traces of Nordic' Seeking Storytellers Around the World
  2. Malta EU 2017Closer Cooperation and Reinforced Solidarity to Ensure Security of Gas Supply
  3. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceHigh-Intensity Interval Training Is Therapeutic Option for Type 2 Diabetes
  4. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  5. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  7. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade
  8. European Heart NetworkCall for Urgent Adoption of EU-Wide Nutrient Profiles for Nutrition & Health Claims
  9. Counter BalanceInvestment Plan for Europe More Climate Friendly but European Parliament Shows Little Ambition
  10. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi: China's Belt and Road Initiative Benefits People Around the World
  11. Malta EU 2017EU Strengthens Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsThe Cost of Speaking Out: Human Rights Violations Committed in Belarus