Marco Mille, a former head of Luxembourg’s intelligence service, and former agents Frank Schneider and Andre Kemmer were accused of recording a con
Marco Mille, a former head of Luxembourg’s intelligence service, and former agents Frank Schneider and Andre Kemmer were accused of recording a conversation with a source in 2007 and then tapping the source’s phone without proper approval. The public prosecutor said the wiretapping operation was illegal, and demanded a fine against all three men. Judge Marc Thill dismissed the claims, reaching a verdict in minutes on the case that has spanned years.
The case was supposed to go to court in 2017 but was postponed because of Mr Juncker’s role as the European Commission’s president.
After the decision, Mr Mille’s lawyer, Laurent Niedner said: “I’m happy that the judge took the only right decision.
“It was a difficult trial, I don’t think the public prosecutor will appeal the decision.”
The prosecutor has 40 days to appeal the decision.
Laurent Ries, Mr Schneider’s lawyer, added: “I’m pleasantly surprised.”
During their trial in March, the defence argued that charges against Mr Schneider and Kemmer should be dropped because they had acted under the orders of Mr Mille.
Mr Mille said that Mr Juncker had approved the wiretap during a telephone conversation, and the former spy’s lawyer said he should also be acquitted too.
Testifying in court, Mr Juncker said he did “not have a concrete recollection of authorising the tapping”.
He did not rule out giving his agreement for the operation against the informant.
However, he questioned why Mr Mille did not seek written authorisation after their discussion.
“If I authorised it, it would have been possible for him to come to my office in the evening and regulate it,” Mr Juncker said.
During a standard operation, a committee of three judges is meant to agree to the intelligence agency’s actions before they are signed off by the prime minister.
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During the trial, a recording of a conversation between Mr Mille and Mr Juncker was heard publicly for the first time.
“I asked you on Friday evening if we could carry out the tapping. You authorised it,” Mr Mille was heard saying.
Mr Juncker replied: “We heard nothing, the two days that we listened?”
Mr Mille concluded: “No.”