Samir Azzouz acquitted

A court in the Hague acquitted Samir Azzouz on appeal of preparing a terror attack. The court does not doubt Azzouz's terroristic intentions, but found no proof that he was ready to carry out an attack. The manufacturing of an explosive device was at such an early stage that there was no real threat, according to the court.

The decision was received with surprise by Dutch politicians. Verhagen, chairman of the CDA party, called the acquittal "unacceptable". According to him, the big question now is whether the new anti-terrorism law applies also to terroristic intentions. If not, the law should be made so.

Prime Minister Balkenende was also suprised with the acquittal, "but we are a law-abiding country. The laws and procedures of the Dutch crimminal law will be enforced. " He added, though, that that it's a question whether the current laws accept the possibility of terrorism.

The PvdA party thinks that people with terroristic intentions should be punishable, if they go through with their plans, no matter how successful.

The public prosectution was disappointed with the judgement. "We interpret the law differently. We think that acts of preparation show enough intent to commit an assault and there was enough evidence that an explosive device was being prepared."

Azzouz had not yet been freed and is imprisoned on other suspicions (ie, trying to shoot down an El-Al plane). The public prosecution did not announce yet if it will appeal the decision.

Azzouz had already been acquitted in the past of armed robbery and planning terrorist attacks due to lack of evidence.

How many times does Azzouz need to plan terror attacks before the Dutch people wake up to the fact that he wants to kill them? Should the Dutch be penalized just because police caught the terrorist before he managed to get to a more advanced stage in planning and preparation?

Azzouz himself does not hide his intentions. To quote his message to the Dutch people, left in a taped statement: You are considered like fighters because you have chosen this government. Your fortune and your blood are permitted to us.

That is, for Azzouz the Dutch are not merely civilians. They are guilty by association and are therefore liable for punishment.

No comments: