Dutch lawmakers face possible prosecution over leaks

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS: The Dutch Parliament is to investigate allegations that one or more senior lawmakers leaked to a newspaper confidential information about intelligence agencies sharing telephone data, the chairwoman of the lower house announced Thursday.

Anouchka van Miltenburg told reporters that the Dutch constitution and law mandate Parliament to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate such claims, to establish "if there are sufficient grounds for a prosecution."

The decision came a day after public prosecutors said they could not take the highly unusual case any further because of the possible involvement of lawmakers who could face prosecution for abuse of office. Under Dutch law, any prosecution would be handled by the Supreme Court.

The lawmakers involved have not been named.

The case revolves around a suspected leak of information from closed meetings of Parliament's Intelligence and Security Services Committee in 2013 and 2014 that reportedly discussed Dutch agencies sharing telephone data with the US National Security Agency.

Members of the committee are banned from publicizing information they hear during their meetings because of the often-sensitive nature of its work.