Two men who were earlier found guilty of membership of a terrorist organisation should face a retrial, the High Court said on Tuesday.
Mohamed F B and Yousef E were found guilty of terrorism offences in 2010 and both jailed for 15 months. The court ruled they were members of the Hofstad group, a loose collection of Muslim radicals in Amsterdam centred on Mohammed Bouyeri who murdered film maker Theo van Gogh in 2004.
The High Court said in its ruling the legal case againste F B and E was not properly supported. Although they were at meetings with other members of the group and had email correspondence, ‘this did not mean they actually had a role in the realisation of the Hofstad group’s terrorist aims’.
The case against Muslim convert Jason Walters, who has an American father and Dutch mother, was upheld by the High Court although his sentence was reduced from 13 years to 12 years, nine months.
The court said he had talked about ‘slaughtering’ politicians in internet chat sessions and had tried to encourage others to take part in training sessions in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The cases against Ismail Akhnikh and two other men were also confirmed. Akhnikh had supplied images of the killing of women and children to meetings and had worked on distributing a pamphlet calling for armed jihad, the court said.
Tuesday’s ruling is the latest in a long legal process against the group. They were first found guilty of membership of a terrorist organisation but then found not guilty on appeal.
However in February 2010, the high court ordered a retrial, saying the definitions for the ‘existence and structure of a criminal or terrorist organisation’ used by the first appeal court were ‘too strict’.
In December, the second appeal trial then found the seven men had formed an organisation which aimed to carry out terrorist attacks.
Hofstad group was a terrorist organisation says appeal court
Hofstad case must be tried again
Hofstad group not guilty of terrorism