On 7 October 2009, the Amsterdam District Court declared the Public Prosecution Office (Openbaar Ministerie) inadmissible in the prosecution of 16 suspects in a drugs-related case. Counsel for the defence in this case took the position that the Public Prosecution Office should be declared inadmissible because it violated applicable procedural rules including:

  • a deliberately false transcript of a wiretap was produced during the criminal investigation;
  • privileged conversations between clients and attorneys were recorded and subsequently not destroyed in conformity with applicable law. The content of these conversations were used in the criminal investigation;
  • at the start of the investigation special investigative powers were used in breach of applicable law; and
  • the prosecution made promises to different suspects in exchange for statements against the prime suspect.

The Court first considered that from the beginning, the criminal investigation focused on a specific person. This mode of investigation is not unlawful. However, the results of such an investigation must be assessed critically, according to the Court. According to the Court, transcripts of wiretapped conversations must be very precise because of the impact of these reports on the criminal investigation. The prosecution however admitted that the transcripts were indeed false. With regard to client-attorney conversations, the Court considered that a great number of such conversations were tapped for an extended period of time and were included in the criminal case file. The transcripts of these conversations were available to anyone who worked on the case. This was a gross disregard of the rights of the accused according to the Court. Although the prosecution argued that the conversations did not determine the criminal investigation, the Court ruled that this was impossible to verify. The overall conclusion of the Court was that as there were several violations of procedural rules where the truth was at issue, the prosecution was declared inadmissible in the criminal proceedings.