Friday 05 March 2021

Dutch jihadi jailed for terrorism is actually in Iraq, not prison: AD

justice courts legal systemA man from Amsterdam sentenced to 1.5 years in jail last week for planning to commit terrorist offences in Syria has escaped, despite being under security service surveillance, the AD says on Tuesday.

Omar H is now in Iraq and has joined IS, anonymous sources told the paper. The 23-year-old reportedly left the Netherlands at the end of last year.

It is unclear why H was not in custody prior to the trial or why the public prosecution department failed to mention he was missing. Defendants in the Netherlands do not have to attend court hearings.

According to the AD, he had been released from custody pending the appeal hearing but was under constant surveillance.

H was arrested in 2012 on suspicion of planning to travel to Syria to fight against president Assad’s regime. He was released from custody pending his trial but later picked up in a train in Germany on his way to Istanbul, Nos television said at the time.

Terrorism

In 2013, he was sentenced to 12 months in jail for preparing to commit arson and carry out explosions but was not found guilty of terrorist offences. The public prosecutor appealed and last week he was found guilty of preparing to commit terrorism.

This was the first time a Dutch jihadi was found guilty of planning to take part in terrorism.

The public prosecution department told the AD: ‘The department has a good idea where Omar H is but we are not making any comment.’

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