Officials: Driver in Dutch royal attack acted alone

1st May 2009, Comments 0 comments

After a search on the suspect’s house, Dutch public prosecutors have ruled out links to terrorism.

THE HAGUE – The car driver who had sought to ram the Dutch royal family but killed five onlookers died from his injuries on Friday was acting alone, the prosecution service said.

After conducting a search on the driver’s house, the public prosecutor has ruled out terrorism and said they believe the man was acting alone.

"A search of the home of the suspect yielded no weapons, explosives or indications of a broader conspiracy," said a prosecution statement.

The man suffering from severe brain trauma died of his injuries early Friday morning.

"The 38-year-old man from Huissen (in the eastern Netherlands) who is suspected of an attack on the royal family, died of his injuries in hospital at 02:58 am (0058 GMT)," spokesman Wim de Bruin told AFP.

"His death means the end of the criminal investigation against him," said de Bruin, adding the investigation would continue in a bid to determine what had happened and whether more people were involved.

Officials said Thursday they had arrested the driver of the black car which slammed into the foot of a monument after mowing down people gathered for the annual Queen's Day royal procession in the central city of Apeldoorn.

The man, identified in the Dutch press as Karst Tates, had confessed to police that his action was aimed against the royal family, before being hospitalised with critical injuries.

Eleven people remained injured in hospital Friday. The five people killed are three men and two women. Among the injured are three children, aged 9, 15 and 16. A number of Antillean musicians also were hurt.

Dutch media reported Friday that the man had recently lost his job and apartment.

His neighbours in the east of the country say he was made redundant a few months ago. They describe him as a quiet, withdrawn person.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said it was too early to speculate about future Queen's Day celebrations, but called for serious reflection after meeting Queen Beatrix and other members of the Royal Family in Apeldoorn.

In a televised address, the queen, visibly shocked, offered sympathy to the victims and their relatives.

Most Queen's Day celebrations across the country were cancelled. In the capital Amsterdam, where some 600,000 people were partying, and a few other towns, festivities went ahead but were toned down.

Flags were lowered to half-mast at the palace and all government buildings.

The police have put 250 people on the case.

AFP / Radio Netherlands / Expatica

0 Comments To This Article