Saturday 27 November 2021

The Hague stabber sentenced to indefinite psychiatric detention

The man who stabbed three people at random on a street in The Hague in May 2018 has been sentenced to an indefinite term in a secure psychiatric unit.

Judges in The Hague said that Malek F should not be jailed because he is completely unaccountable for his actions. He was also found not guilty of attempted murder and making terrorist threats.

Malek F stabbed three people in The Hague while shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ before being shot by police. The 31-year-old had had a history of disturbed mental health since he arrived in the Netherlands as a Palestinian refugee from Syria.

The court said that while F had demonstrably stabbed his three victims, he did not do this with a terrorist motive – that is to say with the aim of terrifying the Dutch people – but because of his paranoia about being followed by devil worshippers.

‘Although the man has committed unspeakable crimes, he is not a perpetrator who can be punished in law,’ the court said.

The public prosecution department had said F was faking his condition and called for 15 years in jail for terrorism offences, but the court ruled that his family, doctors and social workers had all noted his problems.

F has had several spells in psychiatric care. His family said last year they intend to file a complaint against healthcare institution Parnassia for failing to act on earlier signs that he was in poor mental health.

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