4 May 2004
AMSTERDAM — Rotterdam Court sentenced a 33-year-old man on Tuesday to compulsory TBS psychiatric detention and treatment for threatening the wife of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende in October 2003.
The court found that the suspect — identified as Adem T., of Zoetermeer — was consciously moving in to attack and kill Bianca Balkenende with a knife on 27 October last year. A search of the suspect’s house also uncovered a gun.
But the court also ruled that the man could not be held accountable for his actions at the time because he experiences paranoid delusions. A jail sentence was thus considered inappropriate, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
The public prosecutor had demanded two weeks ago that T. be sentenced to two years jail and TBS. The man’s lawyer has confirmed an appeal will be lodged against the court’s ruling.
T. was armed with a knife when arrested near the Balkenende home in Capelle aan den IJssel. A female neighbour who overheard the man ask directions for the house of Bianca Balkenende became suspicious and alerted police.
Rotterdam Court said that the prime minister’s wife had narrowly escaped a violent attack. It is believed that the man was not intending to attack the prime minister.
According to the court, the defendant considered Bianca Balkenende to be a threat to him. He wanted to build a political career and wanted her assistance. He had contacted the Justice Ministry, where he thought the prime minister’s wife worked.
When he failed to make an appointment with Bianca Balkenende, the court found that the defendant changed his opinion of her for the worse.
The court’s conclusion thus differed from the findings of the Pieter Baan Centrum (PBC), the judiciary’s psychiatric observation clinic.
PBC experts have declared that on 27 October, the defendant still suffered from a disorder and that he admired Bianca and did not intend to attack her.
Furthermore the PBC report said that T. was convinced he had an appointment with her and that he would only be in a state to commit violence when confronted with the reality that there was no meeting.
The PBC also said that there was no link between the knife and his visit on Bianca Balkenende and considered him mentally fit to stand trial.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news