‘OM blunders again, reveals address details of crown witness’

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The report of the Dutch Safety Board on witness protection
NOS NewsAmended

Once again, the Public Prosecution Service has made a mistake in protecting a key witness, report investigative journalists from Follow The Money (FTM). A document from the Public Prosecution Service that was given to the suspect in a murder case contains a recent address of crown witness Nidal S., who is cooperating with the judiciary in the murder case. Until recently, S. lived abroad at the aforementioned address.

The OM says in a response to FTM that S. has not been at the address for a long time. Leaking it would not have entailed any security risks.

But Peter Schouten, the crown witness’s lawyer, disagrees. “This is a blunder and also very irresponsible,” he told FTM . According to him, it does not matter that S. no longer resides at the leaked address. The data provides criminals with a starting point for tracking down the star witness, he said.

S. reported to the judiciary in 2016 because he wanted to get out of crime. Because he said he had crucial information about three murder cases, he was able to make a deal with the OM. In exchange for his statements, he received a reduced sentence for his own crimes and was allowed to keep about 20,000 euros in money earned from crime, according to the research platform.

S. was housed at a secret address abroad, but that address was also included in the summons for a lawsuit of a suspect in one of those murder cases, because B. was to act as a witness.

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