Flemish Parliament calls on State Security Service to investigate possible foreign spying
The Flemish parliament has asked Belgium's State Security Service (VSSE) to investigate possible espionage from abroad, according to a letter from parliament president Liesbeth Homans. The letter to the VSSE refers to media reports about former politician Frank Creyelman, who worked for years as an informant for a Chinese spy.
Creyelman was a member of the Flemish Parliament between 1995 and 1999 and between 2007 and 2014. The parliament has asked the VSSE to "collect, analyse and process information on activities that threaten or could threaten the internal security of the state and the survival of the democratic and constitutional order".
Homans also asks in the letter what measures the parliament could take to protect itself from possible espionage activities and whether the VSSE has any information on whether parliament "in any way runs a concrete security risk, including from espionage by foreign powers".
Vlaams Belang under scrutiny
Opposition parties Groen and Vooruit also want the role of Vlaams Belang leader Filip Dewinter, currently the first vice-president of the Flemish Parliament, to be investigated. Gazet Van Antwerpen reported on Thursday that Dewinter allegedly made a deal with Chinese spy Shao Changchun to deliver 10,000 face masks in April 2020.
None of the three majority parties, CD&V, N-VA and Open VLD, supports this question. They feel that Homans' wording in the letter is broad enough to include new elements. Dewinter denied the deal on X.
The role of Steven Creyelman, Frank Creyelman's brother, in the case also came under scrutiny on Thursday. In text messages between Frank Creyelman and a Chinese intelligence officer intercepted by Der Spiegel, Steven Creyelman's name was mentioned several times for a job in parliament.
Steven Creyelman, who is the current chair of the Army Acquisitions Committee, confirmed to De Tijd that his brother regularly approached him about the issues mentioned, but he said he was misled in doing so and did not know that Frank Creyelman was working as an informant for China.
#FlandersNewsService | Liesbeth Homans watches while Vlaams Belang's Filip Dewinter addresses the Parliament © BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND