Retrial of Dutch terrorist group
The retrial of seven men who are suspected of belonging to a terrorist group opened in The Hague on Friday.
Referred to by Dutch police as the Hofstad Group, they were convicted in 2006 of being a criminal organisation with terrorist aims, but six of them won their appeal against the verdict in 2008. The seventh member, Jason Walters, is serving a 15-year jail term for throwing a hand grenade at police when he was arrested in 2004.
The Hofstad Group was suspected of preparing the murder of Dutch Islam critic and film director Theo van Gogh in 2004, and of supporting the murderer, Mohammed Bouyeri. He was seen as the leader of the group and in 2005 was given a life sentence for carrying out the murder. The Hofstad Group was ideologically motivated by radical Islamism.
The Supreme Court of the Netherlands ordered the retrial. The point at issue is whether the suspects formed a terrorist organisation or a criminal one.
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