Food fight as 'ketchup throwers' face court
23 July 2004 , AMSTERDAM — A food fight erupted in front of a courthouse in Amsterdam on Friday when police clashed with the supporters of two women charged in relation to throwing ketchup at Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk last month.
23 July 2004
AMSTERDAM — A food fight erupted in front of a courthouse in Amsterdam on Friday when police clashed with the supporters of two women charged in relation to throwing ketchup at Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk last month.
The street was left littered with cakes and ketchup as police arrested five people. The incident began as about 20 people were left standing in front of the court, on the Parnassusweg, after being refused entry to the legal proceedings.
The two women at the centre of the case appeared in court on Friday after throwing ketchup on Verdonk in Amsterdam on 16 June. The protestors were arrested shortly after the incident, but were released the next day.
The decision to release the women almost led to a motion of no-confidence against Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner in the Dutch Parliament because the women were released without giving their names or addresses to justice officials.
Amsterdam Court later approved a prosecution request ordering the re-arrest of the women, asserting that the incident led to unrest for the minister and society as a whole. The court said an unsuspended jail term was not "unthinkable".
And the women were found guilty on Friday on charges of violence and one of them was also convicted of vandalism. They were sentenced to 11 days jail and a one week suspended jail term. In addition, they were ordered to pay Verdonk's dry cleaning costs.
The judge took into account that the women had previously been convicted on public disorder charges and said that they had shown little respect for those who had arrested them.
Earlier on Friday, the prosecution had demanded a four-week jail term, two of which would be suspended with a two-year probation period.
The women — who are still refusing to reveal their identity — did not attend Friday's hearing. News agency ANP reported that the women have been in remand custody since their last appearance in court almost two weeks ago.
The women were thus free to go on Friday, considering their jail term had already been served in remand custody.
[Copyright Novum Nieuws 2004]
Subject: Dutch news