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‘Reveals the scandal to cover up
photos that prove the onset of the
Srebrenica genocide’

Al Jazeera

‘An apt observation of a sad struggle
within the army command’

Nieuwe Revu, opinion weekly

‘The secret services torn apart,
the government unmasked’

Hebban, book review site

‘Meticulously written and well

Jan Pronk, former minister

‘This book is characterised by the
clear writing style’

Klaas Dijkhoff, Minister of Defence

‘The accuracy of the book written by
Edwin Giltay is not in doubt’

Court of Appeal The Hague


Now second, revised edition:

Dutch author exposes intelligence scandal

His gag order was lifted: author Edwin F. Giltay pitches his book here on stage in Amsterdam.

  Subtitled in English  

A general sporting three stars on his uniform, commissioning a private spy to nose around in a commercial company. And this is not just anyone: it’s the general’s own wife. A tribal war within the Dutch Military Intelligence Service, with unsuspecting citizens being victimized. One would expect such a modus operandi in North Korea, not in the Low Countries. However, this is what author Edwin F. Giltay experienced — he vividly describes the saga in The Cover-up General (Dutch: De doofpotgeneraal).

  In his book Mr Giltay depicts the rather trans­parent conduct of secret service agents infiltrating at the internet provider where he was assigned. Initially a spook tried to recruit Mr Giltay as a military analyst. At the same time however, she herself was being monitored. At the root of this tug-of-war within the Military Intelligence Service was the infamous film roll of Srebrenica depicting war crimes, which was misdeveloped by the Dutch Armed Forces. The recruiting officer intended to make public the footage on the film wasn’t at all lost – information that would no doubt have under­mined the standing of a certain triple-star general. 

  The Cover-up General delineates this espionage scandal fervently. Mr Giltay recounts the absurd consequences in great detail. As long as the Srebrenica drama receives public and legal attention, this nonfiction thriller is assuredly of significance.



Buy here for €19.50 including delivery in Holland and Belgium


De doofpotgeneraal

(in Dutch)
Edwin Giltay

Epilogue Hans Laroes

Book banned: 21 December 2015

Ban lifted: 12 April 2016

Second, revised edition including eight new chapters published in September 2016 by Blauwe Tijger

Paperback with flaps|263 pages

Also, a free audiobook is available for the blind and physically handicapped.



   12 JANUARY 2017      INTERVIEW   

The military has a way with intimidation’ 



He became entangled in a web of intrigue and rivalry within the Dutch military secret service. Putting pen to paper, he documented his experiences in The Cover-up General (Dutch: De doofpotgeneraal). The non-fiction thriller was banned by court order, but this was overruled by the Court of Appeal in The Hague. Hence, author Edwin F. Giltay recently published a revised edi­tion of his book.

‘In 1998 – I was in my mid-twenties – I applied for a job with the Royal Netherlands Navy, and made a good impression. Thereupon their counterparts from the military secret service tried to recruit me; one of their operatives asked me to become a military analyst. She had infiltrated the offices of internet service provider Casema where I was working at the time. All the while however, she herself was secretly monitored by another spy and this situation got out of hand completely. At the root of this tug-of-war within military intelligence was the infamous film roll of Srebrenica depicting war crimes. One of the factions wanted to make public the footage on the film wasn’t at all lost, the other wanted to keep this information under wraps.’

Wasn’t this footage misdeveloped by the Dutch Armed Forces?

‘Working at the internet provider, said recruiter complained about several mishaps within military intelligence. She told us the Srebrenica footage hadn’t been lost at all. In fact, she claimed she had seen the pictures herself. Her antagonists kept an eye on her through a spook who, it turned out, was none other than the wife of General Ad Van Baal. According to my information, he had employed his spouse as a private spy. Van Baal was the deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Netherlands Army when the Srebrenica drama unfolded. It would result in an unprecedented fall from grace for him and the armed forces, should those pictures ever surface in the public domain. We are talking about evidence of the start of the genocide by the Serbs, at the time a Dutch battalion was to protect Srebrenica. Although they denied it, Dutch Army top brass was very much aware of the atrocities taking place.’


The Dutch military will not have applauded publication of your book.

‘The former recruiter started legal proceedings against me, claiming I was guilty of slander. Apparently, I had vilified her reputation. Quite remarkable: The Cover-up General was already available for nearly a year at that stage. While in court, she did not produce any evidence to substantiate her accusa­tions. She didn’t bring forth any proof what­so­ever to support her objections. The docu­men­tation I provided, proved my story was correct.’


‘It would be an unprecedented fall from grace for the Dutch Army should the Srebrenica pictures become public.’



‘Still, the book was banned, which was completely incomprehensible. Such a restriction on the freedom of press is rather unique in The Netherlands. The Court of Appeal overturned the verdict resolutely, however. Thankfully, the judges recog­nized my book is based on facts. Indeed, no, I am not easily gagged.’

Did the Ministry of Defence ever delve into the intrigue within military intelligence?

‘On the contrary. After I had asked the powers that be to investigate the Casema affair, I was opposed in any way thinkable. I was intimidated actually. This I elaborate on in the new edition of The Cover-up General, and well docu­mented at that. When you consider how various intelligence agencies tried to put me under pressure, how they tried to discredit me: it gives you a pretty good insight of the modus operandi of our spooks. The military has a way with intimidation, many among former service personnel can tell a tale or two about that. Once you air the military’s dirty laundry in public, you’re bound to get into trouble. My story is but one of many.’

What do you hope your book will achieve?

‘I would greatly appreciate it, should the Casema affair be investigated after all. Intelligence personnel has been responsible for illegal infiltration, intimidation, burglary and theft. And I’d like to see the dubious part General Van Baal played be unravelled. An appropriate task for the Minister of Defence. Even more important: this shady affair related to Srebrenica ought to be uncovered: after all – we are talking about genocide. The government intimidation I personally encountered, scandalous though it was, is insignificant by comparison. If the military would want to try anything to put me off again, well, all efforts to shut me up have been proven unsuccessful. I’ll take them on any day.’




Book ban overturned 

The Hague – The Court of Appeal in The Hague, The Nether­lands, has ruled nonfiction thriller The Cover-up General (Dutch: De doofpot­generaal) is no longer banned. 

  December 2015, the book was banned by the district court of The Hague after a former agent of the Dutch military secret service demanded it to be censured. The appeals court overturned this verdict resolutely.

  Author Edwin F. Giltay had expected a ruling in his favour: ‘To ban a book, meticulously documented and researched thoroughly – it’s unthink­­able. The three judges of the Court of Appeal recognized my book is based on facts. This time around, the former secret agent was unable to pull the wool over their eyes.’

  The ex-spy claimed untruths abounded in the book, yet she did not produce any evidence to substantiate her accusations. ‘She didn’t bring forth any proof whatsoever to support her dubious claims. The only thing we heard from her was: ‘It’s all a farce!’ She never demonstrated con­vincingly exactly what was. It was nothing but a bluff.’

  Retired Dutch army colonel Charlef Brantz comments: ‘Spies are used to bending reality, they manipulate the truth.’ This was the case precisely, asserts Mr Giltay: ‘Hence it’s not surprising the judges of the Court of Appeal dis­carded the ridiculous decision to ban the book.’

  Giltay’s attorney Jurian Van Groenendaal: ‘It’s still a mystery why the lower court ruled as it did. Apparently, it was regarded by some as too explo­sive in nature.’

  The book recounts an espionage scandal, related to the disappear­ance of footage depicting Srebrenica war crimes. This saga disgraced the Dutch military. Mr Giltay: ‘The censorship of my book implied that one cannot speak up about this cover-up. Fortunately however, freedom of expression and freedom of press have prevailed.’


In November 2014, De doofpot­generaal was published in Amster­dam. One year after publication – when it was already sold out – the book was banned. A judge prohi­bited Edwin F. Giltay to reprint, distribute and even promote his book. Mr Giltay had to black out this website. The censor­ship verdict was front page news in the Balkans, and met with anger and disbelief everywhere.

Dnevnik, the largest newspaper of Mace­donia, criticizes the ban big-time on its front page.

However, the verdict was resolute­ly overturned on 12 April 2016. A second, revised edition of De doofpot­generaal by De Blauwe Tijger Publishing returned on the market in September 2016.





‘Meticulously written and well documented’

— Jan Pronk, former minister


Author Edwin Giltay describes down to the last detail what is wrong with our secret services, covered up by the Armed Forces, the National Ombudsman and with damaged ministers as a consequence.’ /

Hebban, Dutch book review site

‘Mr Giltay wrote an impressive book about his experiences. I think the Minister ought to provide a real answer.’

Sadet Karabulut, Member of Parliament


‘Author Edwin Giltay reveals the scandal to cover up photos that prove the onset of the Srebrenica genocide.’

— Al Jazeera

‘This book makes clear the necessity of solid external control on intelligence and security services.’

— Bram van Ojik, Member of Parliament


Giltay calls all involved by name. He gives dates, locations, and his narrative never runs amok.’

Leidsch Dagblad, Dutch daily

‘I read the book and can recommend it to everyone. It’s very thrilling.’

Harry van Bommel, former Member of Parliament


About the failed film roll film of Srebrenica, and the muddle of intrigues and smoke screens concerning the disappearance of this possible evidence of war crimes’

de Volkskrant, Dutch daily

‘This is an important book about an important affair in which the secret service withheld evidence of war crimes, at the expense of an arbitrarily chosen but surprisingly thoughtful civilian.’

Roel van Duijn, politician


‘If this wasn’t a true story, the book would be regarded as hilarious’ /

Nieuwe Revu, Dutch opinion weekly

‘One is aware of how the Armed Forces deal with whistle-blowers: Fred Spijkers, Victor van Wulfen and Edwin Giltay’

— Jan Born, investigative journalist EenVandaag


In a down-to-earth writing style with attention to detail, Edwin Giltay describes in The Cover-up General the clumsy performan­ce of two spies with poor manners, that he witnessed.’

Haarlems Weekblad, Dutch weekly

‘I’d like to see the whole Srebrenica book be opened. The moment the government would also give disclo­sure of the Giltay story, that’d be a nice bycatch.’

— Hans Laroes, former editor-in-chief NOS-News


'In The Cover-Up General nothing is what it looks like. It is almost stifling to read how intelligence services – or the general himself? – crowd around to make the life of innocent civilians miserable.' /

Boekje Pienter (army website)

‘Why can’t the government just be open? It’s important that this riddle is also solved permanently.’

Brenno de Winter, investigative journalist


The Cover-up General reads like a thrilling and very detailed ‘roman ŕ clef’ in which the true names are revealed.’

Checkpoint, Dutch veteran’s monthly

The Cover-up General is a shocking eye-opener on how our secret services work.’

— Philip Dröge, investigative journalist


‘This thriller is a fine read and it truly happened. And when do you read something about government espionage?’

— Amsterdam FM

‘Good to see this is being reported’

— Arnold Karskens, war correspondent


‘People in high places trying to cover up their own mess, getting nailed by their own dirt. If this wasn’t a bloody serious case, the reader could perceive the story of Edwin as a magisterial joke.’

LeesKost, Dutch books blog

‘Evokes the atmosphere of Graham Greene’s famous Our man in Havana, yet situated in Delft in the offices of an internet provider …’

— Christ Klep, military historian


‘A must-read for everybody who wants to know more about government espionage in practice and the dangers entailed for all involved.’

— Dutch library institute Biblion (2015)

‘If this is all true, then the Netherlands is an even stranger country than I started to think in the past years.’

— Chris van der Heijden, historian


‘The author describes in a compelling way the rather transparent activity of a secret agent he got confronted with at the internet service provider where he worked at the time. His report on this affair reads like a thriller.’

— Dutch library institute Biblion (2016)

‘Reality turns out more bizarre than the greatest conspiracy theory. This book proves really everything is possible, also in the Netherlands. Including threats, etc.’

Willem Middelkoop, writer


‘An exciting documentary thriller, that recounts the espionage scandal relating to the disappearance from the laboratory in The Hague of footage depicting war crimes’

Dnevni Avaz, Bosnian daily

‘Read this exciting book! Then you’ll know for sure what’s going on and what could be happening.’

Metje Blaak, writer


Marihuana is allowed there, but not a book on Srebrenica’

Vesti, Serbian daily (December 2015)

‘Holland is a kind of wholesale dealer of cover-ups. I recognize this story fully.’

Roger Vleugels, freedom of information specialist


Cover-ups, censorship and the shadow of a genocide that might have been prevented’

+31 Mag, Italian magazine

That secret services infiltrate people at companies is not news: read Edwin Giltays The Cover-up General.’

Victor van Wulfen, former Royal Netherlands Air Force fighter pilot and whistle-blower


‘A very interesting book’

Naša Bosna, BiH Platform (organisation of citizens of Bosnia in the Netherlands)

[News program] Argos has shown that we and the people were betrayed by our allies. It's time to bring this cover-up to light. Edwin has shown with his book once again that there is more to it.’

Derk Zwaan, veteran Dutchbat 3


‘Again, the suspicion is fed the State is respon­sible for letting disappear the infamous photo roll.’

— Marco R. Gerritsen and Simon van der Sluijs, lawyers of the ‘Mothers of Srebrenica’

‘I find Edwin’s book very readable and well worth reading: it brings forth very sensitive and interesting questions.’

— Caspar ten Dam, former president of the Srebrenica commemoration committee in The Hague


‘During the appeal against the book ban, it immediately becomes clear that Edwin Giltay has more evidence: 30 pieces versus one.’

Schrijven Magazine, Dutch writer’s monthly

‘All this is real – starring Military Intelligence, running circles around Edwin and bungling everything.’

Jehanne van Woerkom, writer


‘The book The Cover-up General may again be distributed. … According to the court, freedom of expression should in this case be weighed heavier than the right to defend honour and reputation.’

Court of Appeal The Hague

It’s still a mystery why the lower court ruled as it did. Appar­ent­ly, The Cover-up General was regarded by some as too explo­sive in nature.’

Jurian van Groenendaal, media lawyer


‘Book recommendation! The book of the deployment of spies and the photo roll of Dutchbat 3 was first banned by court, yet is now released again so everyone can read what actually happens in the Netherlands.’

— Veteran’s organisation Dutchbat 3

‘I would like to see a Bosnian translation of The Cover-up General.’

H.E. ms. Mirsada Čolaković, ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Netherlands

‘This book is characterised by the clear writing style.’

H.E. Klaas Dijkhoff, Minister of Defence (October 2017)





Well over 200 articles in two dozen countries were already written about the nonfiction thriller. A selection for English speakers:

Jeroen Stam. ‘Dutch Defence Ministry keeps bumbling'  , Forum of EthnoGeoPolitics, Summer 2018, pp. 51-53.

Jasmin Agić. ‘Holandija prikrila fotografije mrtvih Bošnjaka iz Srebrenice’ (‘The Netherlands concealed photos of dead Bosniaks from Srebrenica’)  , longread interview with author Giltay, Al Jazeera, 21 July 2018.       Translation   

TV item about ‘whistleblower’ Edwin Giltay in news program Hart van Nederland    , Dutch TV channel SBS6, 14 September 2017. Filmed in de House of Representatives in The Hague. Subtitled in English.

Edwin Giltay. ‘Srebrenica keeps haunting the Netherlands’  , reportage in Forum of EthnoGeoPolitics, Winter 2017, pp. 37-41.

Alosman Husejnović. ‘Suđenje ‘Zabranjenoj Knjizi’ U Haagu: ...’ (‘Trial of ‘The Forbidden Book’ in The Hague: The hidden folder on Srebrenica must be opened and made public!’), Dnevni Avaz (Bosnian daily), 25 Febru­ary 2016.       Translation   

‘Uproar over book ban’  , background article on this website, February 2016.

Žana Božinovska. ‘Холандскиот суд забранил книга за Сребреница по барање на бивша шпионка’ (‘Dutch court bans book about Srebrenica on request former spy’), Dnevnik (Macedonian daily), 28 December 2015.       Translation   

Mladen Kremenović. ‘Суд у Хагу забранио књигу о Сребреници’ (‘The Hague court bans book on Srebrenica’), Politika (Serbian daily), 24 December 2015.       Translation   

TV interview by Metje Blaak with author Giltay   , Amsterdam channel Salto TV, 5 January 2015.
Subtitled in English.



Edwin F. Giltay (The Hague, Holland, 1970) is a free­lance editor of mixed Dutch-Indonesian descent. Mr Giltay worked as a technical writer for IBM and as a management assis­tant for Deloitte. Currently, Mr Giltay edits some of the books brought out by Blauwe Tijger Publishing. The Cover-up General, also published here, is his non­fiction debut.


The press can find promotion photos of the book and press releases in the press kit.


Would you like to approach Mr Giltay? Please, simply send an e-mail in either Dutch or English to Also, Mr Giltay is on Facebook and Twitter.

 @ Photo Marco Bakker