Murat: I didn’t mean to kill my teacher
15 April 2004
AMSTERDAM — Schoolboy Murat D. claims he did not mean to shoot his deputy headmaster Hans van Wieren in the head. “It was not my intention to kill him. I wanted to shoot him in the shoulder,” he told a children’s court on Thursday.
Murat has admitted he shot Van Wieren in the head in the canteen of Terra College in The Hague on 13 January 2004.
Appearing in court on Thursday, Murat refused to look at footage of the shooting taken by a security camera, but confirmed to the judge that he was the person in the images who shot Van Wieren.
Murat was 16 at the time and the court’s main task at this stage is to decide whether he should be tried as a juvenile or in an adult court. Murat is now 17.
The judge has to assess the seriousness of the crime, Murat’s maturity and the circumstances and motive of the shooting.
The court’s decision will have serious implications for Murat’s sentence if he is found guilty. Under the laws governing juvenile offenders, Murat would face a maximum of two years in a youth detention facility or up to six years in a prison for young offenders.
If convicted as an adult, the maximum sentences would be life imprisonment or 20 years, possibly followed by TBS compulsory psychiatric hospitalisation.
Although hearings in the children’s court are usually in camera, or in the absence of the public, the judge agreed to allow 26 journalists into the courtroom due to the public interest in the case. Many other journalists gathered outside the court building.
The court was shown footage and stills from a security camera in the school canteen which shows Murat walking up to the teacher and shooting him. A defence lawyer has said Murat turned his head just before he pulled the trigger and this illustrated he did not intentionally aim for Van Wieren’s head.
The victim was taken to hospital but died later that evening. Murat, who fled from the school after the shooting, handed himself in to police shortly afterwards.
Two other suspects are to appear in court on Friday. An adult man is suspected of supplying the murder weapon to Murat and is charged with complicity to murder. A juvenile boy who allegedly hid the gun after the shooting is accused of obstructing the police investigation.
The court is to deliver its judgments in all three cases on 29 April.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news + School shooting