Dutch royal allegedly in her majesty's secret service
A retired security service officer claims Princess Mabel was a Dutch agent, writes PETER CLUSKEYin The Hague
DUTCH PRINCESS Mabel of Orange-Nassau, chief executive of the Elders and wife of Prince Friso – who is still in a coma after a skiing accident in February – was an agent for the Dutch national security service, according to a new book by a retired senior officer.
The princess (44), formerly Mabel Wisse Smit, was approached by the BVD (forerunner of the current AIVD intelligence service) while she was a political science student at Amsterdam University, probably during the time she spent as an intern with the UN and then the dutch ministry of foreign affairs, the book says.
According to Frits Hoekstra (66), a highly regarded intelligence historian who served as a senior operational officer at the BVD between 1971 and 1989, this is when Wisse Smit underwent her first security vetting by the BVD.
However, in his book, The Service: Inside the BVD, Hoekstra does not reveal whether Prince Friso, his mother Queen Beatrix, or her heir-apparent, Crown-Prince Willem-Alexander, were told about the princess’s double life.
Prince Friso caused a national scandal in 2004 when he married Wisse Smit despite the revelation by then Dutch prime minister Jan-Peter Balkenende that she had been less than candid about an alleged affair during the 1980s with high-profile drugs baron Klaas Bruinsma, shot dead in 1991.
Long before she met the prince, however, Wisse Smit’s star was on the rise. A multilinguist who speaks several Slavic languages and is an expert on the Balkans, in 1994 she set up the European Action Council for Peace in the Balkans, whose members included Margaret Thatcher, Valérie Giscard d’Estaing and Simon Wiesenthal.
Through this she met the high-profile Bosnian ambassador to the UN, Bosnian-American lawyer Muhamed Sacirbey, with whom she became romantically involved, starting in 1993.
She was in Dayton, Ohio, for the agreement which ended the Balkans war in 1995, and Hoekstra claims she was tasked by Dutch security chiefs with obtaining as much first-hand information as possible from Sacirbey about the Bosnians’ negotiating strategy.
“This was because the BVD regarded such intelligence as an extremely valuable trading commodity,” says Hoekstra, who also wrote Espionage and Counter-Espionage in the Netherlands in 2004, while still with the service.
Wisse Smit went on to work with billionaire philanthropist George Soros, was named a global leader for tomorrow at the World Economic Forum and, in 2007, following her marriage, founded the European Council on Foreign Relations, which she still co-chairs with Martti Ahtisaari and Joschka Fischer.
Hoekstra claims the BVD “cleared” Wisse Smit for her marriage to Prince Friso in just one week – whereas normally such clearance would have taken “many weeks if not months”.