Terror trial adjourned, new witnesses called

25th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

25 February 2005 , AMSTERDAM — Rather than hearing the public prosecutor's sentencing demand, Rotterdam Court adjourned the trial of terror suspect Samir A. on Friday, ruling that two extra witnesses should be heard.

25 February 2005

AMSTERDAM — Rather than hearing the public prosecutor's sentencing demand, Rotterdam Court adjourned the trial of terror suspect Samir A. on Friday, ruling that two extra witnesses should be heard.

Trial adjourned in case of terror suspect Samir A.

The first witness is the head of the Dutch security service AIVD, Sybrand van Hulst. AIVD security videos recorded a Moroccan youth apparently scouting out the service's headquarters in Leidschendam. That youth was allegedly the 18-year-old suspect.

But defence lawyer Victor Koppe claims it cannot be said with certainty that the person captured on video footage is A. and he wants to ask Van Hulst how the service came to the conclusion that it was his client.

The second witness is an Arabic translator, who will assist the court translate notes made by Samir A. on maps and layouts of the Defence Ministry and Borssele nuclear reactor. The maps were allegedly seized at his house after A. was arrested for a supermarket robbery last year.

The public prosecutor claims the maps indicated A. was planning a terrorist attack, asserting that he wrote: "my weapons" in Arabic on the maps. The public prosecutor said a translator can confirm this.

Besides the ministry and the nuclear power plant, A. is also accused of planning an attack on Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and the Parliament in The Hague.

He is allegedly linked to the suspected terror network Hofstadgroep. Some 12 suspected members of the group have been arrested, including two men accused of planning the murders of MPs Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders.

The case against A. started in the high-security Rotterdam Court on Thursday, but A. maintained his right to silence and refused to answer questions from the judges. 

Once the two witnesses have been heard, the prosecutor will present its sentencing demand to the court on 23 March. If convicted, A. will become the first person convicted of planning a terrorist attack in the Netherlands.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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