Motorist denies killing thief on purpose

19th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

19 January 2005, AMSTERDAM — The 43-year-old woman arrested following the death of a 19-year-old bag snatcher killed when he became wedged between her car and a tree in Amsterdam on Monday has denied intentionally killing him, her lawyer has said. The death teen, identified as Ali B. of Moroccan descent, was riding on a moped with a friend when they stopped beside the woman's car at about 6.30pm and opened the door to steal her bag. They then tried to escape, but the woman reversed her car to cut them off,

19 January 2005

AMSTERDAM — The 43-year-old woman arrested following the death of a 19-year-old bag snatcher killed when he became wedged between her car and a tree in Amsterdam on Monday has denied intentionally killing him, her lawyer has said.
 
The death teen, identified as Ali B. of Moroccan descent, was riding on a moped with a friend when they stopped beside the woman's car at about 6.30pm and opened the door to steal her bag. They then tried to escape, but the woman reversed her car to cut them off, colliding with the scooter on the Derde Oosterparkstraat.

The Opel Vectra car wedged the 19-year-old up against a tree and he died at the scene. The woman was then taken to the local police station for questioning. Police believe the death was a "tragic accident", but investigations into the incident continue.

Lawyer P.A. van der Waal said his client — who is being held on suspicion of manslaughter — only wanted to pursue the suspects to get her bag back. He said the woman put her car in reverse to try and tell the thieves that there was nothing of value in her bag.

The woman is the mother of two children and is very shaken by the incident. "She thinks it is terrible for the boy and his parents. She very much wants to personally explain to the parents how this could have happened," Van der Waal told newspaper De Telegraaf.

He said the woman had not even noticed she had collided with the scooter. When the car hit the tree, she set out in pursuit of the second thief. But giving up the chase, she then turned around and saw the other thief wedged against the tree, the lawyer said.
 
"It was absolutely not her intention to injure the street robbers by, for example, colliding with them," Van der Waal said.

The woman was interviewed at length by police on Tuesday and a spokesman told the newspaper that it remains unclear how the car collided with the scooter. It is hoped that the second thief will report to police to give his account of the incident. Justice officials will decided on Wednesday if the woman is to appear in court. 

Meanwhile, heated discussion has opened up in Amsterdam East, with some Moroccans in the area claiming that B.'s death was murder. Soon after the incident, youths started yelling and screaming at the scene and the situation threatened to get out of hand as they tried to cross police lines to get at the victim.

The boy's father also arrived and was clearly distressed. He was later taken away by police and offered counselling assistance from a crisis team and tensions at the scene of his son's death started to ease.

Discussion continues to rage in the district and on internet forums about whether the death was an accident or murder. Some people have said that the victim was to blame by setting events in motion by taking the bag.

Feelings are running particularly high between the native Dutch and immigrant communities, particularly in light of the fact the incident  occurred just 50m from the spot where filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered last November, allegedly by a Islamic militant with Dutch and Moroccan nationality.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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