Dutch minister only told of Berlin attacker link after four days

Photo: Regering.nl
Photo: Regering.nl

The Dutch public prosecution service did not informed justice minister Ard van der Steur that Berlin attacker Anis Amri had probably been in the Netherlands until four days after the evidence first emerged.

Amri was shot dead in Milan four days after he drove a lorry into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people. It now appears that he crossed the border from Germany into Nijmegen, took a train to Amsterdam’s Sloterdijk station and then took a bus to Lyon in France.

Van der Steur told MPs in a briefing on Thursday that the Dutch public prosecution department was was briefed by Italy on the Dutch link on December 23. This came after they found a Dutch telephone SIM card in his rucksack.

However, it was only once Amri had been identified on camera footage in Nijmegen that the minister said he was briefed.

‘This is evidence of the lack of urgency within the public prosecution department,’ Christian Democrat MP Madeleine van Toorenburg said.

Van der Steur said he cannot share all the information at his disposal with parliament in the interests of the ongoing investigation.

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