Prosecutors ordered to try harder to track down suspected Syria fighters


A court has told the prosecution service to make more efforts to get in touch with Dutch citizens who are suspected of fighting in the civil war in Syria.

Prosecutors want to bring a case against around 10 so-called ‘jihadist fighters’ in the conflict zone in Syria and Iraq, but have struggled to track them down. Ultimately the prosecution service wants to charge all 190 Dutch nationals it says have taken part in the war.

Judges said suspects had a right to be in court to hear the charges against them and ordered prosecutors to take further steps to ensure they knew about the proceedings.

A lawyer for the prosecution said adverts had been placed on Facebook and friends and family of the suspects, including former partners, had been approached, but the results had been disappointing.

The court said it was too early to proceed with a full hearing and declined prosecutors’ request to order the suspects to be taken into custody. The case will return to court on February 20.