State witness released from custody

12th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

UPDATED 13 December 2005, AMSTERDAM — The man who denies being an informant for the intelligence service (AIVD) and supplying hand grenades to two terrorist suspects was himself released from custody on Tuesday.

UPDATED 13 December 2005

AMSTERDAM — The man who denies being an informant for the intelligence service (AIVD) and supplying hand grenades to two terrorist suspects was himself released from custody on Tuesday.

Saleh B., 28, was freed following a hearing in Rotterdam after a judge decided there was no evidence to hold him any longer on suspicion he was involved in the alleged terrorist activities of the Hofstadgroep.

B. told the trial of 14 Muslim men in Amsterdam on Monday that he had been approached by the AIVD on an early occasion to supply information but this had not come to anything.

He denied defence allegations he was an informant for the AIVD and that he gave four hand grenades to one of the accused men, Jason W.

W. and another man were arrested after a day-long siege of a home in The Hague on 10 November. The siege developed after W. threw a grenade at a police raiding party that moved in to arrest the pair.

Mohammed B., 27 - the man convicted of killing filmmaker Theo van Gogh - and 13 other Muslims with Moroccan backgrounds are on trial in Amsterdam charged with membership of the Hofstadgroep, which the authorities claim was a terrorist network.

W. alleged that Saleh B. had given him a plastic bag, containing the grenades, to mind. B. did not deny he had been in the home on the Antheunisstraat, but he denied providing the explosives.

While W. accused the state's witness of lying, DNA evidence presented to the court indicated no traces from B. were found on the three remaining grenades.

B. said he used to have a stall at a street market in The Hague and he got to know W. because the accused was interested in the business.

Turning to suggestions in the media that he was an informant or agent provocateur, B. denied he was working for the AIVD when he became acquainted with W. He did, however, concede the AIVD had approached him in the past but the contact soon ended.

B. was sparing with his answers on Monday and repeatedly made use of his right not to testify about certain matters. He was arrested on 28 October on suspicion of being part of a terrorist organisation after media reports questioned whether he had been shielded by the security service.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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