Man admits fabricating Van Gogh claims

13th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

13 January 2006, AMSTERDAM — A witness admitted to the trial of 13 terrorist suspects in Amsterdam on Friday he concocted his claim about one of the men admitting he provided the gun to kill film maker Theo van Gogh.

13 January 2006

AMSTERDAM — A witness admitted to the trial of 13 terrorist suspects in Amsterdam on Friday he concocted his claim about one of the men admitting he provided the gun to kill film maker Theo van Gogh.

"It was a classic cock-and-bull story," Jamal B. told the panel of three judges.

He said he agreed to make the statement after police harassed his family for six months and put pressure on him to implicate accused man, Bilal L.

Bilal L. is a friend of Mohammed B., the man jailed for life in July last year for murdering Van Gogh on 2 November 2004. Mohammed B. claimed he acted alone and that his friends did not know about his plan.

Bilal L. and 12 other Muslim men are on trial in Amsterdam for allegedly being part of a terrorist group, dubbed the Hofstadgroep by the authorities. It is alleged they met, often in Mohammed B.'s house, to discuss terrorism. The accused men claim they only gathered to pray and share their views about Islam.

Prosecutors announced earlier this week they had a surprise witness, Jamal B., who could link Bilal B. to the murder.

The police inspector told the trial on Friday that Jamal B. had shared a cell with Bilal L. for three months. Bilal L. was serving a sentence for threatening MP Geert Wilders.

A police inspector told the court on Friday morning Jamal B. claimed Bilal L. confided in him that members of the group knew about the plan to kill Van Gogh and that he (Bilal L.) provided the bicycle Mohammed B. used.

But when Jamal took the stand he said the statement he made was totally false. "I can't help you because he never told me anything. I was harassed every day. What do you do then? I made it all up."

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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