All nine Eindhoven terror suspects are found not guilty
Nine men arrested on terrorism charges in Eindhoven in September 2021 have been found not guilty by judges in Rotterdam.
The public prosecution department said last December that seven of the nine should be cleared because of doubts about whether they were planning a terror attack. They had been released from custody in May 2022 but two others remained on remand.
However, the court ruled on Tuesday that all nine should be cleared of the charges.
The two men the public prosecutor considered to be guilty are ‘only part of a close-knit group of friends’ the court said. ‘And that cannot be regarded as a structured partnership with the aim of committing terrorist crimes.‘
The men all took part in sports training in a lock-up when gyms were closed because of the coronavirus measures. At the time of the arrests, the public prosecutor said the lock-up was a training system where the group prepared both physically and mentally for a terrorist attack.
The group, ranging in age from 19 to 32, did watch IS films and instruction videos about making bombs, the department said. However, no weapons or explosives were found during the investigation, nor were there any concrete plans for an attack.
The men all denied all the charges and say comments made about terror attacks were not meant to be taken seriously.
An expert in radicalisation who interviewed the men prior to an earlier hearing in November, also said the comments were made in fun and that the group did not legitimise violence from an ideological perspective.
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