NEWS

EU plans to complain about bugs

BRUSSELS (AFP) – The European Union will next week lodge a formal complaint with Belgian justice authorities over phone taps found at its Brussels headquarters, officials said yesterday. The European Council secretariat has been authorized «to pursue the matter with the Justice Department and the Belgian police and, if necessary, take the case to court,» Greek Ambassador to the EU Aristides Agathocles told reporters. «I can tell you that we’re not bugged now, I’m told,» added the ambassador, whose country currently holds the EU presidency, during a briefing in the Justus Lipsius building where the bugs were found last month. The building hosts European Council meetings of EU ministers and leaders when they take place in Brussels. At a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, EU foreign ministers will formally endorse the presidency’s authorization for a formal complaint to be lodged with Belgian prosecutors, a Greek spokesman said. The mystery bugging system – targeting the offices of half a dozen delegations, including Britain, France, Germany and Spain – was discovered on March 19 on the eve of an EU summit. EU security services found the taps on lines between the switchboard of the Council building and delegation rooms. Senior officials denied Belgian reports that investigators had already concluded that the United States was responsible.