The investigating judge in a major criminal probe into the recruitment of jihadists has been removed from the case because of her potential bias.
A special panel agreed with the lawyer of one of the defendants that the judge may be biased after remanding chief suspect Azzedine C in jail.
‘I have read in the case file the ideology which you adhere to and that is an ideology which leads to criminal acts and which we all abhore,’ the judge is quoted as saying while questioning C.
Seebregts said the statement showed how difficult it is for judges to remain neutral as soon as they hear the word jihad or terrorism. ‘We live by the rule of law,’ Seebregts said. ‘These suspects too deserve a fair trial.’
C, who is 32 and also known as Abou Moussa was arrested in southern Germany at the end of August and extradited to the Netherlands. He faces charges of recruiting people to fight in Syria and Iraq. He and another 24-year-old man are also being held on suspicion of preparing terrorist attacks.
‘These are big fish and played an important role in radicalisation and recruitment,’ Rotterdam mayor Jozias van Aartsen told reporters after their arrest.
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