Hofstad case appealed to Supreme Court
The public prosecution department is taking the Hofstad group case to the Supreme Court.5 February 2008
THE HAGUE – The public prosecution department is appealing the court rulings in the cases of the seven Hofstad group suspects to the Supreme Court.
The prosecution department announced on Tuesday that it does not agree with the appeal court's acquittal two weeks ago of the seven suspects for participation in a criminal and terrorist organisation.
The appeal court in The Hague did find one of the chief suspects, Jason W., guilty of five murder attempts. No terrorist intent could be demonstrated in these cases however, the court ruled.
On 10 November 2004 W. threw hand grenades at members of an arrest team that was trying to arrest him and fellow suspect Ismaïl A. in a home in the Laakkwartier area of The Hague.
The lower court convicted W. at the time and sentenced him to 15 years in prison, in the appeal case the prosecution asked for 18 years. The appeal court upheld the sentence of 15 years.
The lower court had imposed a 13-year sentence on Ismaïl A. In the appeal case the prosecution demanded 18 years. In the end the appeal court sentenced him to just 15 months, since the court did not find him guilty of five murder attempts, but only of possession of hand grenades. A. was immediately released last month.
In 2006 the prosecution department appealed the lower court's rulings, which had awarded the presumed members of the Hofstad group prison sentences of up to 15 years. The justice department claims that the suspects planned to carry out terrorist attacks and wanted to set up an Islamic state in the Netherlands.
At the time the lower court did not consider it demonstrated that the group of young men were actually planning attacks.
The court did say there was enough evidence that the group was a terrorist organisation, aimed at spreading hate, agitation and threats.
The appeal court did not agree with this last conclusion. "The public prosecution department has not been able to prove that there was structured collaboration here," the appeal court said.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2008]
Subject: Dutch news