'No assault' on Van Gogh

28th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

28 July 2005, AMSTERDAM – A police investigation has found that although Theo van Gogh's son said he was threatened and assaulted in Amsterdam, the incidents did not take place, police said on Thursday.

28 July 2005

AMSTERDAM – A police investigation has found that although Theo van Gogh's son said he was threatened and assaulted in Amsterdam, the incidents did not take place, police said on Thursday.

They made the statement in response to a story the murdered director's parents told on the television programme NOVA on Wednesday night.

Theo van Gogh's parents said Moroccans had beaten up their grandson Lieuwe and the police had failed to respond.

Amsterdam police had said earlier they were taking the story extremely seriously.

Detectives tried to contact Mr and Mrs Van Gogh on Thursday.

After Theo van Gogh was murdered, police said, they had extensive contact with Lieuwe's mother and he had police protection for a time.

But an extensive investigation has demonstrated that Lieuwe van Gogh was not threatened or assaulted by Moroccans, a spokesman said. He gave no further details on the results of the investigation.

Gijs van de Westelaken said on behalf of the Van Gogh family on Thursday that it was regrettable that "one sentence in an interview has become such a big thing.

"Maybe Lieuwe's grandparents should have worded it more carefully, but they're not used to being in the media," he said.

He asserted that there had been two incidents.

In the first, soon after his father was murdered, Lieuwe van Gogh was assaulted by a few boys while out walking the dog and received bruises, Van de Westelaken said.

The boy did not tell his mother until later and did not report the incident to police, Van de Westelaken said.

In the second incident, he said, two boys with a gun or an object resembling one asked neighbours where Van Gogh lived. The neighbours called police, but the boys fled.

Two weeks later, neighbours saw the boys again. A police car sent to the scene was recalled en route because supervisors wanted to send an arrest team instead. When it arrived the boys were gone, Van de Westelaken said.

The Van Goghs are not angry with police, regret that things have blown up as they have, and would like to be left in peace, Van de Westelaken said.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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