Junior justice minister Fred Teeven has been asked to reconsider his decision to ban a young convicted terrorist from going on leave so he can work towards completing his business economics degree.
Samir Azzouz was sentenced to nine years in jail for membership of a terrorist organisation, plotting attacks on political targets and recruiting people for the armed struggle against ‘the enemies of Islam’.
Azzouz is on a list of prisoners considered a flight risk, and the minister, prison director and public prosecution department oppose giving him leave, a precursor to a move to a more open prison where he can work on his thesis.
Azzouz argues he should be able to complete his studies in order to reintegrate into society when he is released in September 2013.
Now the council charged with overseeing young offenders rights has told Teeven to reconsider his request within two weeks.
The issue is more complicated because in September, another prisoner claimed Azzouz had been planning further terrorist attacks from inside jail. Although no evidence was made public, he is still considered a suspect, the public prosecution department says.
Azzouz went through three trials before he was finally convicted of terrorist offences.