Rob Engelaar

Lawyers of three suspects in Sky ECC case issue Justice Minister with summons.

Lawyers acting for three of the accused in the Sky ECC case have had a summons issued for the Federal Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne (Flemish Liberal) to appear before a summary proceedings hearing. The daily ‘Gazet van Antwerpen’ writes that the lawyers are demanding access to the so-called "mother case file" relating to the use of the encrypted messaging service by criminals and not only the files related to their clients’ alleged involvement. 

The three solicitors’ have initiated summary proceedings against Mr Van Quickenborne (photo below). The Federal Justice Minister has been summoned to appear before a summary hearing in Brussels next week in his capacity as a representative of the Belgian state. 

Nicolas Maeterlinck

Lawyer Frank Scheerlinck told VRT News that "We are asking to be given the complete ‘mother' case file". Through a bailiff Mr Scheerlinck and follow lawyers Sam Vlaminck and Jorgen Van Laer had a summons issued on Thursday.  

The hacking of the Sky ECC communications platform that is popular among members of the criminal fraternity was part of an investigation led by an Examining Magistrate in Mechelen.

The individual case files concerning the hundreds of people that have been arrested since the Sky ECC communications system was hacked have been kept separate from the so-called “mother” case file. Lawyers acting for the accused believe that they should be able to access the mother case file in order to be able to defend their clients. The Judicial Authorities don’t want to allow this.

Consequently, the lawyers have decided to haul the Justice Minister before the courts in an effort to be granted access.

Mr Scheerlinck told VRT News “I want to check the legality of this. I wanty to see who hacked Sky ECC. Were it the Belgians, the Dutch or the French? We must be able to see which methods and procedures were followed. We live under the rule of law and it is not because the procedure has been consigned to the deep freezer that we should also throw away our legal code”.

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