Schiphol fire court case starts today

The trial of Achmed Al-Jeballi, the suspect in the Schiphol airport detention centre fire, begins in the Haarlem court today. Defence lawyer Eduard Damman is already declaring his client will be found not guilty.

According to Damman the technical investigation carried out for the public prosecution department by engineering bureau DGMR in Maastricht does not prove the fire was the result of arson. The fire, in October 2005, killed 11 people, all awaiting deportation.
The accused has always maintained the fire was an accident and his bedding caught fire after he flicked away the lighted end of his cigarette. According to Damman, the investigation concludes ‘it is not possible to distinguish between throwing away a cigarette-end and arson’. The public prosecutor will not comment.

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