Courts rarely convict terrorist suspects

Only 27 of the 113 people charged with terrorism offences in the Netherlands were convicted in court and some of them were found not guilty on appeal, the NRC reports on Thursday.

In contrast, some 90% of people appearing in court on non-terrorist charges are convicted, the paper says. The paper bases its claims on public prosecution department figures.
The Netherlands has never experienced a terror attack. Although the murder of film maker Theo van Gogh is widely considered a terrorist incident, no conspiracy to kill him has ever been proved, the paper points out.
Of the 153 people arrested for terrorism offences, almost two-thirds were later released without charge.
Earlier this year, seven people were arrested after police received a tip-off about a plot to bomb a shopping area south of Amsterdam. All were later released without charge.
Last year, the Netherlands’s most notorious terror suspect Samir Azzouz was sentenced to nine years in jail for membership of a terrorist organisation, plotting attacks on political targets and for recruiting people for the armed struggle against ‘the enemies of Islam’.
Nevertheless, ‘it remains unclear… how advanced his plans were,’ the NRC said.
Azzouz was previously tried and found not guilty twice.

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