Setback for prosecutor in snowball shooting
19 January 2005
AMSTERDAM — The Dutch public prosecutor suffered a setback on the first day of the trial of a man accused of shooting and killing Rotterdam schoolboy Sedar Soares, 13, when one of the witnesses was charged with perjury.
The witness is alleged to have given contradictory statements to authorities, and he denied in court on Wednesday that the suspect had confessed his involvement in the youth’s death.
“My head is not good. I am crazy,” the 25-year-old witness told Rotterdam Court.
Sedar was shot and killed on 1 February 2003 when he was throwing snowballs with friends in the car park at the Rotterdam metro station Slinge.
The 29-year-old suspect, Gerald H., has denied involvement in the shooting. Two other people were also arrested, but have since been released. They are expected to appear in court later, RTL News reported.
It was initially suspected that Sedar had been shot because he was throwing snowballs at cars. But police later suspected that he had been killed in crossfire during a gangland gunbattle.
Witnesses claim that a man stepped out of a car and started shooting at the group of youths.
The killing plunged the port city into mourning. About 1,000 people later attended a special ceremony on the one-year anniversary of Sedar’s death.
The suspect was arrested in April 2004 at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam for allegedly trying to smuggle drugs into the Netherlands.
H. told the court that he got out of bed on the afternoon of 1 February 2003 because he had been out the night before. He then took his pregnant girlfriend to her sister and visited a woman he had met the night before, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
He then claims to have picked up his girlfriend and they went home together. That night, H. said his mother rang and told him about the shooting. He insists he was never present at the scene of the shooting.
Members of Sedar and the suspect’s families were in the court on Wednesday as were detectives who had investigated the case.
The trial continues.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news