Expatica news

Dutch terror charges dropped against 4 men

15 October 2004

AMSTERDAM — The Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) has dropped the terrorism charges against four men accused of preparing attacks in the Netherlands.

Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner went public with the arrests in mid-September, revealing that the four men were accused of preparing attacks against targets such as Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and the Dutch Parliament in The Hague.

But the OM said on Thursday that insufficient evidence had been gathered for a successful prosecution of the four suspects, who had been arrested on 30 July this year.

Investigations did not yield any evidence the suspects were part of a radical group or network. No links with other suspects were found either.

But the OM said three of the suspects have been charged with possessing an illegal weapon and one of the suspects faces of charge of forging a passport.

One of the defence lawyers, Jacq Taekema, confirmed the terrorism charges had been dropped from the summons lodged against his client, a 28-year-old Muslim man from Suriname.

The lawyer said the OM had previously accused the suspects of engaging in the preparations for murder, arson and an explosion, newspaper De Telegraaf reported. The remaining charges might also be dropped, he said.

Taekema said the evidence compiled did not justify the continued detention on remand of his client. He asserted further that the OM had delayed announcing the arrests because it knew it did not have a strong case.

The hearing will be held on 3 November and a ruling will be handed down two weeks later. 

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news