In an appeal before the The Hague court of justice, all members of the Hofstad group have been acquitted of 'membership of a terrorist organisation', despite the new anti-terrorism laws introduced after the murder of Theo van Gogh: Hofstad group not guilty of terrorism.
Seven young men known as the Hofstad group are not members of a terrorist organisation, the appeal court ruled on Wednesday.The only possible commentary to this utterly insane miscarriage of justice is provided by cartoonist Tom Janssen in a cartoon reproduced above. The writing on the frock of the judge in the middle reads: 'court of justice The Hague'. With one fell swoop the court in The Hague has made it virtually impossible for ANYONE to be convicted of terrorism in the Netherlands.
The seven, who include Mohammed Bouyeri, convicted of murdering film maker Theo van Gogh, were earlier sentenced to up to 15 years in jail.
The appeal court upheld the 15-year sentence imposed on Jason Walters at the original trial for attempting to throw a grenade at police officers during his arrest in 2004. He was found guilty of five counts of attempted murder but did not have a terrorist motive, the appeal court said.
Ismail Akhnikh, sentenced to 13 year for his role in the grenade attack, saw his jail term slashed to 15 months. He was found not guilty of attempted murder but guilty of possessing the grenade. Bouyeri was not sentenced at the earlier trial because he is already serving a life sentence for killing Van Gogh in 2004.
Both the prosecution service and the defence had appealed against last year's verdicts. The lower court ruled that the gang was a terrorist organisation but said there was no proof that it was planning actual attacks and making threats.
Of the 14 men originally tried on terrorism charges, five were found not guilty and two have been deported as undesirable aliens.