Jail sentence for man who shot and paralysed random passerby

A gavel in a courtroom.

A 21-year-old man from Groningen has been sentenced to 10 years of jail and long-term psychiatric treatment (tbs) after shooting at and crippling a random passerby. The NOS broadcaster reports on Friday that the man named as Azim A. was sentenced for trying to kill the 21-year-old Sydney Ruiter last October. He and two friends had stopped the student on the street on October 15th 2017, and then A. had shot at him four times as he cycled away. Ruiter was permanently paralysed in his lower body and now uses a wheelchair. A. must also pay his victim almost €370,000 in compensation for the apparently motiveless attack. A. had reportedly told somebody later that the shooting ‘felt good, like shooting a bird out of the air’ and threatened to kill his victim in hospital to prevent him from testifying. He had cleaned the gun in his newborn baby’s bath. A. was given two years' less punishment and a slightly weaker charge than the prosecution had demanded, and made no defence in court. The verdict was also partially based on other criminal acts, including a ram-raid in Zuidlaren and abuse and death threats against a former girlfriend.  More >

Drugs and phones found at Dutch prison

Five people have been placed in solitary confinement at Zaanstad prison after they were found to have drugs and illegal telephones during a major search operation earlier this week. The Telegraaf newspaper carried photos and videos showing prisoners clearly under the influence of drugs, which were described by justice minister Sander Dekker as 'completely unacceptable'. Zaanstad prison was opened two years ago and has cell space for around 1,000 prisoners, making it the biggest in the country.  More >

'Police arrest Delft coffee shop shooter'

Police badge and radio. A 26-year-old man from Amsterdam has been arrested of suspicion of involvement in severa; shootings at cannabis cafes in Delft on September 16, the public prosecution department said on Wednesday. In total, two attempted shootings and one actual shooting were recorded by surveillance cameras, the department said. The footage was broadcast on television crime show with an appeal for information. Delft has been hit by a string of violent incidents this year. On Monday, police fired shots at two men who ran off after being questioned about what officers thought may be a gun. In June, three people were arrested in connection with a series of shootings and a grenade attack in which a coffee shop, tanning studio, jewellery store and clothes shop came under fire. Police believe the incidents, which all took place in the early morning, may be linked to a gangland turf war. In August, Delft was rocked again by the murder of notorious city criminal Karel Pronk.  More >

Criminal investigation into NAM leak

A criminal investigation has been started into the leak of toxic natural gas condensate into a canal near Farmsum in Groningen province, the state mining authority SODM said on Twitter. Gas company NAM has been summoned to 'minimalise the extent of the leak and to restore any damage to the natural environment' the mining body said. NAM must also investigate the cause of the leak and take steps to prevent them in the future. The condensate was discovered in the canal a week ago on Thursday and Delfzijl town council said on Tuesday evening that NAM is responsible for the leak. Olievlek Farmsum is giftig aardgascondensaat van de NAM https://t.co/BIu0JwChMa — RTV Noord (@rtvnoord) October 9, 2018 'We are extremely angry that NAM did not come clean about this,' local alderman IJzebrand Rijzebol told local broadcaster RTV Noord. 'If you are working with such dangerous substances, you should be extremely careful in what you do.' NAM said in a statement that it regretted the incident, would take full responsibility for the clean-up costs and would investigate the cause.   More >

Man jailed for murder of 15-year-old girl

A man has been jailed for 12 years for the rape and murder of a 15-year-old schoolgirl in 1995. Jos G., 51, was found not guilty of killing Nicole van den Hurk at his trial in 2016, but appeal judges ruled there was enough evidence to convict him of murder. He was sentenced to five years in prison for raping Nicole. The case was reopened in 2011 after Nicole's body was disinterred so DNA samples could be taken for analysis. G. was arrested in 2014 because his DNA matched traces found on her body and jacket. However, the district court in Den Bosch said there was doubt about his guilt because another unidentified DNA sample was found on her body. Nicole was found dead in woodland between Lierop and Mierlo, near Eindhoven, six weeks after she went missing in October 1995. Colleagues at the supermarket where she worked raised the alarm after she failed to turn up for a shift. G. said he may have had consensual sex with Nicole but denied raping her. The appeal court decided after hearing evidence from DNA experts that he sexually assaulted her. G., from Helmond, was being detained in a secure psychiatric hospital when he was arrested for the murder of Nicole, having been convicted in 2000 of raping his ex-girlfriend.    More >

Lavrov: 'hackers' were on routine trip

Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has insisted that four men who were thrown out of the Netherlands for allegedly spying on the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were on a 'routine trip'. The quartet were expelled on April 13 after agents from the Dutch military intelligence service (MIVD) intercepted them in The Hague as they tried to hack into the OPCW's wi-fi network. The MIVD said they had rigged up an antenna in the back of a rented Citroën C3 which was parked outside the Marriott Hotel, which directly backs on to the OPCW building on Johan de Wittlaan, for a 'close access hacking operation'. Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Lavrov said there was nothing covert or suspicious about the men's activities. 'It was a routine trip, they did not hide, neither when they checked into the hotel, nor when they arrived at the airport, nor when they visited our embassy,' he said. He added that the four men had been escorted out of the country without any explanation or being given a chance to contact the Russian embassy. The Dutch ambassador to Moscow was summoned to the foreign ministry to explain the events in April. The four men, comprising two IT specialists and two support workers, arrived at Schiphol airport on April 11 on diplomatic passports, hired a Citroen C3 and checked into the Marriott Hotel. A laptop that they surrendered on departure indicated that they had recently been in Malaysia, which is playing a key role in investigating the shooting down of flight MH17, and the Swiss city of Lausanne, home of the world anti-doping agency WADA. The latter is currently investigating institutional drug taking in Russian sport, while the OPCW is testing chemicals used to poison the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia in Salisbury, England, in March. Lavrov suggested the expulsion of the Russians in April had been made public to divert attention from the Nato defence ministers' meeting. The Dutch government said it had chosen to disclose the details after learning that the United States was about to charge seven Russian intelligence officers, including the four intercepted in The Hague, with cyber-hacking offences. 'It seemed to someone that digging up the April story and making it public right now will help to divert attention from complex issues that are being discussed now both in the European Union and, to a certain extent, in NATO, including the proportion of defense capabilities of these two structures,' said Lavrov.  More >