All six children taken into care when their parents were arrested for allegedly planning to move to Syria are to be returned home, a family court in Utrecht said on Monday.
Three of the four parents – all from the town of Huizen south east of Amsterdam – were released last week after judges said there is not enough evidence to keep them in jail. One man, aged 34, remains in custody.
The judge said in a statement there is no evidence the family with the eight-month-old baby is planning to move to Syria. The other family, with five sons up to the age of nine, is planning to emigrate but not at present and certainly not to Syria, the court said.
The court said social workers and child protection specialists do not believe there is a risk the families will go into hiding. In addition, the parents’ passports have been cancelled, making it impossible for them to travel.
The public prosecution department said earlier on Monday it is to appeal against the release of the 31-year-old man, saying he had admitted he wished to go to Syria.
There is, the department said, sufficient evidence which indicates he has plans to support IS’ armed struggle. The man’s lawyer denies the claim.
Lou van Leer, the lawyer for the family with the five sons, says the family has been the victim of a witch hunt and false information. ‘It was stated the children have Dutch and Moroccan passports,’ Van Leer told broadcaster Nos. ‘They only have Dutch ones.
‘It was also stated the father has a brother in Syria but that is not true either.’
This weekend it emerged two other families, one from Amersfoort and one from Utrecht, may have already gone to Syria to settle in the area controlled by militant Islamic group IS.
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