Man denies deliberately starting Schiphol fire
10 November 2005, AMSTERDAM — The Libyan man arrested on suspicion of starting the fire at the Schiphol detention centre is denying the charge.
10 November 2005
AMSTERDAM — The Libyan man arrested on suspicion of starting the fire at the Schiphol detention centre is denying the charge.
Lawyer Robbert Ketwaru said in an interview on Radio 1 news that his 25-year-old client was due to have his first court appearance on Thursday.
The suspect, who has not been named, was placed in the Schiphol detention centre a day before the fire. He was due to be deported a day after the fire. He denies "deliberately" starting the blaze, Ketwaru said.
Eleven people died in the fire at the detention centre during the night of 25 and 26 October. All the victims were designated 'illegal immigrants' and faced deportation from the Netherlands.
The Libyan man suffered severe burn injuries and was treated at the Beverwijk burns unit. He was moved to the prison wing of Scheveningen Prison after his arrest on Monday.
Ketwaru revealed that his client "asked for and received a lighter" prior to the fire but he had not started it deliberately. The lawyer declined to outline the suspect account of the events leading up to the tragedy.
"He is very shocked that he is accused of having 11 deaths on his conscience. He is relatively depressive and very emotional," the lawyer said. The suspect made a statement to police which was incoherent in places.
Ketwaru said he could not reveal any more details as the investigation is ongoing. His client is being held in restrictive custody, a form of isolation.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news