Martine Ernst, Alain Guillaume, René Haquin and Philippe Brewaeys were journalists. In 1995 a huge operation was carried out to search their workplaces, homes and cars. It involved 160 police officers. The warrant had given the officers almost unlimited scope to seize documents and objects, without specifying where the search could take place or what the seizures were for.
The search was related to the prosecution of government employees for leaking confidential information. However, none of the journalists involved had written any articles containing secret information. They were not accused of any offence or told why the search was happening.