Dutch terror suspect acquitted again
18 November 2005, AMSTERDAM — An appeal court in The Hague has acquitted Samir A., 19, of charges he was planning to terrorist attacks on key locations in the Netherlands in 2004.
18 November 2005
AMSTERDAM — An appeal court in The Hague has acquitted Samir A., 19, of charges he was planning to terrorist attacks on key locations in the Netherlands in 2004.
A. was among a group of Dutch Muslims arrested in October this year when police allegedly found a 'video testament" in which A. referred to an act he had carried out. This is a separate case that has yet to be finalised.
Dealing with the 2004 case, the judges indicated on Friday they were convinced A, a Dutch-Moroccan, had "terrorist intentions" but not the means to carry out his plans.
The intention to carry out a criminal act is not sufficient grounds for a conviction and therefore A. was acquitted on the charges of plotting attacks and being an accessory to an armed robbery at the supermarket where he worked in Rotterdam in 2004.
The Appeal Court said A.'s plans were "so inept and primitive" that they did not pose a real threat. "The suspect was left with practically empty hands," the judges said.
Back in April the trial court acquitted A. on the similar grounds. Prosecutors appealed in the hope the higher court would accept materials found in A.'s home in Rotterdam would be sufficient to prove the case against him.
Among the items found were sketches and self-made plans of several potential targets, including the Dutch Parliament, the Borssele nuclear power plant and the headquarters of the security service AIVD.
Police also found a silencer and an empty ammunition clip for an automatic weapon, videos and books about Jihad. Fertiliser found in the house indicated A. was trying to make a bomb but the fertiliser being used was unsuitable, the prosecution claimed.
The trial court jailed him for three months for possession of the silencer and ammunition clip. The judges said there had to be suspicions he was planning terror attacks, the evidence was insufficient.
In January 2003 A. was arrested in Russia. He and a school friend were allegedly on their way to Chechnya to fight for the jihad. However, the pair of 17-year olds lacked proper passports and clothing and had to return to the Netherlands.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news