Veenendaal municipality must provide documents on secret investigation to Taubah

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June 27, 2024
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The court finds in favour of Taubah Foundation and determines that the Municipality of Veenendaal must provide Taubah with various documents surrounding the secret investigation. This is because Taubah has made it sufficiently plausible that the municipality acted unlawfully towards it. The court rejected Taubah’s request to see the secret NTA report. According to the civil court, the administrative court should first rule whether the Municipality of Veenendaal was allowed to keep the report secret.

What is the case about?

Taubah, a small mosque in Veenendaal, was the subject of a secret investigation into the local Islamic community. This survey was commissioned by the municipality and conducted by the commercial research company NTA. NTA conducted similar surveys in several municipalities without informing the local Islamic communities. The covert investigations came to light in late 2021 through publications by NRC. Since then, Taubah has been trying to get access to the report. According to Taubah, there are all kinds of inaccuracies in the report, which she wants to be able to defend against. Moreover, according to Taubah, the investigation should never have taken place because it violates fundamental rights family name the mosque and its community.

What are the proceedings about?

Taubah has initiated proceedings on the merits as it believes that the municipality acted unlawfully by commissioning a secret investigation into it. As part of these proceedings, Taubah also asked to see the NTA report and all other documents surrounding the secret investigation. The court has now issued an interlocutory ruling on the inspection. The proceedings on the merits, in which the court will rule on the illegality, are yet to follow.

The court ruled that Taubah had made it sufficiently plausible that the Municipality of Veenendaal had acted unlawfully towards it. Indeed, Taubah has explained that the secret investigation was carried out in violation of the law, and that the municipality should not have hired a private company such as NTA to carry this out either. Taubah also explained that its fundamental rights were violated as a result. The court agreed with Taubah on these points. Therefore, the municipality must give Taubah the documents relating to the investigation, such as invoices, emails and the order confirmation. If it fails to do so, the municipality must pay a penalty. However, Taubah is not yet allowed to see the actual NTA report because of the secrecy surrounding it.

PILP is assisting mosque Taubah in both proceedings together with lawyer Paul Tjiam of the firm Simmons & Simmons LLP.

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