Arsonist Libyan to be expelled from Netherlands

18th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

A Libyan who started a fire that killed 11 people at Schiphol’s detention centre was declared an “unwanted alien” and is to be deported on Friday.

The Hague – A Libyan who served jail time for starting a fire that killed 11 people at a Dutch immigration detention centre in 2005 will be expelled from the Netherlands, a court said Thursday.
A judge in the central city of Utrecht ruled that Ahmed al-Jeballi, 27, "may be expelled from the country" and dismissed his application to stay pending a further appeal against his conviction, said a court statement.

Dutch immigration authorities have declared the Libyan an "unwanted alien" and told the court they planned to deport him on Friday.

"The judge was of the opinion that his presence in the Netherlands is not required" for the appeal, said the court statement.

Jeballi had also been convicted of two other crimes, including bicycle theft, and had never obtained a residence permit, the court said.

In the early hours of October 27, 2005, nine men and two women -- from Bulgaria, the Dominican Republic, Georgia, Libya, Romania, Surinam, Turkey and Ukraine -- died trapped in their cells when a fire broke out in a wing of the immigrant detention centre at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.

Jeballi was sentenced to three years in prison in June 2007, but was released from custody four months later pending the hearing of his appeal. By that time, he had been behind bars for two years.

Earlier this month, appeal judges cut his already-served arson sentence in half, to 18 months.

They found that while he started the fire, he could not be held responsible for it spreading beyond his cell.

Jeballi has now lodged a further appeal to the Supreme Court.

An official Dutch report in 2006 was critical of safety measures at the detention centre -- sparking the resignations of the justice and housing ministers.

AFP / Expatica

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