Traffic jam trap police to stay silent

The lawyer for a suspected petrol thief caught in a police-made traffic jam has accused the public prosecutor of hampering his attempt to get at the truth.

The suspect, a 47-year-old man from Tilburg, is accused of driving off from a petrol station without paying.
In order to catch him, police deliberately caused a traffic jam on the busy A2. The suspect’s car rammed into another, killing a 35-year-old man from Rotterdam.
The police involved in causing the jam were originally considered as witnesses by the public prosecutor, but they are now being called suspects. This means they can refuse to be questioned by the suspect’s lawyer.
Gerald Roethof, the defence lawyer, told tv news programme Nieuwsuur on Monday evening this change in status comes at a remarkable moment. He was due to question the police agents on Wednesday.
The agents are suspected of causing danger on the road and hampering traffic. It is not clear if they will be charged.
The public prosecutor would not comment, except to say it did not accept Roethof’s accusation.
The practice of causing traffic jams has come in for considerable criticism. Guido van Woerkom, director of motoring organisation ANWB said at the time: ‘People who knew nothing [about the incident] were involved and one person was killed – all for a couple of litres of petrol.’

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