Tuesday 19 November 2019

Public prosecutor warns losing Dutch nationality may see jihadis go free

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The public prosecution department has warned justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus that his policy of stripping dual nationality jihadis of their Dutch passports may lead to them escaping punishment, the NRC said on Monday.

The paper bases its claim on confidential documents which, it says, shows the department takes the opposite position to the minister on dealing with Dutch nationals who went to fight in Syria.

The Netherlands has been able to remove Dutch nationality from convicted and unconvicted jihadis since 2017 and so far 11 people have lost their Dutch passports. A further 100 cases are in the pipeline, Grapperhaus said earlier.

However, the public prosecution department believes this could lead to some people going unpunished for their crimes or facing lower sentences.

Several people who are appealing earlier convictions for terrorism have now been stripped of their Dutch nationality and this could lead to them being released by a higher court, officials say.

A spokesman for the minister said Grapperhaus always take the advice of the department into account when deciding what to do but that ‘that does not mean you actually have to follow it’.

Last month the NRC reported that the public prosecution department has issued repatriation requests for 29 people to face trial in the Netherlands for terrorism offences.

The government has stated repeatedly that it will not bring back Dutch nationals who went to fight with Islamic militant groups in Syria and Iraq. Instead, it would like to set up a tribunal in the region.

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