The Netherlands highest court, de Raad van State (Council of State) at October 25, made public its judgment on a Freedom of Information Act legal process which started in October 2014. The judgement is that Dutch government does not need to make public requested documents.
Dutch media RTL Nieuws, Volkskrant and NOS requested Dutch government to make public all documents related to the decision making of Dutch authorities in the weeks and months after the shot down of MH17.
While Dutch governent in 2016 made public a selection of the requested documents, not all requested documents were released. Minutes of minster meetings were not released. The argument used was that ministers should be able to discuss without having the fear that words will be made public. Additionally the information could harm relations with friendly states.
After a lengthy legal battle the case ended at the Raad van State. A complete and detailed timeline of the events in this WOB since October 2014 is documented here.
Raad van State in its judgment stated that it is of great importance that participants of minister meetings can talk freely.The interest of the Dutch state is more important that freedom of information according the Raad van State.
At the same time Raad van State stated that RTL Nieuws, NOS and Volkskrant can start an application at the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) and make an appeal to the freedom to get information right.
Judgment by Raad van State here.