Mohammed B. stays silent over Van Gogh slaying
5 November 2004
AMSTERDAM — The suspected killer of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh has declined to give police a statement since his arrest Tuesday. He was due to appear before a judge on Friday on charges of murder, attempted murder and terrorism.
Amsterdam chief public prosecutor Leo de Wit said Mohammed B., 26, is charged with a variety of offences and will appear before a judge at the penitentiary hospital in Scheveningen. A decision will then be made whether to extend the man’s detention on remand.
B. has been charged with murder, the attempted murder of a police officer with a “terrorist objective”, the attempted killing of bystanders (including police officers), breaches of Dutch weapons law and suspicion of membership of a criminal gang.
The Dutch-Moroccan national has also been charged with conspiracy to “murder with a terrorist aim” Van Gogh, MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali and/or other people.
B. is alleged to have shot and stabbed Van Gogh to death at 8.45am on Tuesday, injuring also a bystander and later a police officer in a shootout. Police are investigating his possible al-Qaeda links.
Experts have said a letter plunged into Van Gogh’s body with a knife has indications that it originated from an extremist Islamic group.
But B.’s defence lawyer, Peter Plasman, fears his client will not receive a fair trial after Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner released the letters to the public on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, six other men arrested on suspicion of membership of a criminal gang and conspiracy to the murder with a terrorist aim Van Gogh, Hirsi Ali and others will appear in Amsterdam Court also on Friday.
Two suspects arrested in connection with investigations this week were released Friday due to a lack of evidence. They have been identified as two Moroccan brothers.
Meanwhile, police searched the Amsterdam home of B. on Thursday night. The operation on the Marianne Philipsstraat focused on technical investigations as police searched for possible contacts between one or more people.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news