Natalie Solent’s blog alerts us to this story about the arrest of Hans-Martin Tillack, a German investigative journalist. Tillack was held without access to a lawyer for ten hours by the Belgian police. What was he investigating? EU corruption. In fact, Tillick was the first journalist to report the investigations into the irregularities of the EU statistical arm, Eurostat, which led to the removal of the responsible officials.
Here’s Solent’s take: “I don’t want to contribute to a climate of hysteria. Herr Tillack has now been released. He wasn’t roughed up. It seems that Belgian law permits or possibly even demands that suspects not be given access to a lawyer for the first day after arrest. True, all Herr Tillack’s files have been scrutinized by the police and the names of his sources must have been noted, but there is talk of a law that is more protective of sources being passed soon. The authorities most likely were simply trying to stymie his investigation before the law was passed. You’re right. It’s still scary.”
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