Terror suspect faces seven years
23 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — An 18-year-old man accused of planning terror attacks in the Netherlands heard the public prosecutor demand a seven-year jail term in Rotterdam Court on Wednesday.
23 March 2005
AMSTERDAM — An 18-year-old man accused of planning terror attacks in the Netherlands heard the public prosecutor demand a seven-year jail term in Rotterdam Court on Wednesday.
Samir A. is accused of planning attacks against the Dutch Parliament, Defence Ministry, the Borssele nuclear reactor, Schiphol Airport and the offices of security service AIVD in Leidschendam.
Police searching the suspect's home found maps of the alleged targets bearing notes about security and the possible need for a getaway car. The prosecutor claims that everything indicates that A. was seriously plotting attacks.
In an extraordinary demand, the prosecutor also said A. should be denied voting rights because he tried to attack democracy. A maximum jail of 14 years could have been sought, but this was reduced because A. was 17 years old at the time of his arrest.
He is not being prosecuted in this trial for alleged membership of the suspected terror network Hofstadgroep. Investigations into the group's actions are expected to take some time. It is not yet known if A. will be charged in relation to his alleged links with the network.
There are 12 suspected members of the group being held on remand. Police are working to establish if they can be linked to the November 2004 murder of Theo van Gogh. Alleged Islamic militant Mohammed B. has been arrested for the killing and detectives believe he was linked to the Hofstadgroep.
A's trial was adjourned two weeks ago at the last moment after two witnesses were ordered to give testimony.
The first witness was AIVD chief Sybrand van Hulst, who testified that surveillance cameras had filmed a young Moroccan man apparently scouting out the security service's headquarters. That man was Samir A., the AIVD claims.
The second witness was an Arabic interpreter, who translated for the court the notes that A. allegedly made on the maps of the Defence Ministry and nuclear reactor. Prosecutors were struggling to translate the word 'silaa7', but the interpreter said it meant "weapons".
A. was previously arrested in October 2003 with four other suspects and accused of plotting an attack. They were later released due to a lack of evidence. The other suspects are also alleged members of the Hofstadgroep.
If A. is convicted of preparing attacks in the Netherlands, it will be the first time that a Dutch court has convicted someone of such a crime.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news