Saturday, 31 January, 2009

Belgian spy boss wary of Russian, Chinese reporters

31 January 2009
BRUSSELS -- Belgian State Security Service Director Alain Winants suspects there are "many spies" among journalists working in Brussels.

Media in Slovenia are quoting Belgian daily De Morgen, which cited Winants as saying that it is "horrible how many Chinese and Russian reporters are running around Brussels", and adding that "we are justified to wonder whether they have journalistic educating at all".

He made the statements in front of the Belgian Senate's judiciary commission, appraising that there are "a few dozen" spies among journalists in Brussels.

1,200 foreign reporters are accredited to work in the city that is home to the EU, NATO and other international organizations.

The comments came during an ongoing debate in Belgium over proposed changes to existing legislation, that would, if adopted, give this country's intelligence officers additional powers.

Those powers would allow Belgian spies to assume false identities and impersonate journalists as they conduct their investigations. Belgium's League for Human Rights has been critical of the proposal. (B92 News World World)

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