Terrorism trial key crown witness says he made up recruitment claims

justice courts legal systemA key witness in the ongoing terrorism trial at Amsterdam’s high security court house, has withdrawn his statement, saying he made it all up, the NRC says on Wednesday.

Ahmed S is a crown witness at the trial, in which nine men and one woman face charges of being members of a terrorist organisation, preparing to commit terrorist attacks and recruitment. According to the NRC, he was the most important witness for the prosecution.

In the statement, which was made in early 2014, S accused the group of young Muslims in The Hague of brainwashing him by showing him jihad films and praising jihadi fighters in Syria.

S had himself been charged with recruiting potential jihadis when he made the statement. He now says he made up his statement in an effort to shift attention to others. ‘I went to talk to detectives,’ he told the NRC in an interview. ‘If they asked me “were you brainwashed”, I answered “yes”. That is what I thought they wanted to hear.’

Charges against S were eventually dropped.

The public prosecution department says it still stands by the statement and claims S had been pressured by former friends to drop it. The trial in Amsterdam began on Monday.

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