The seven Eindhoven terror suspects who are still in custody may await their trial in freedom. This was decided by the judge on Thursday during a pre-trial hearing in the secure court at Schiphol. Two other suspects were previously allowed to go home.
The seven have been held for eight months in the special terrorist wing of the PI Vught. All men remain suspects in the case which will be dealt with substantively in November.
The men, aged between 20 and 31, were arrested in September last year on suspicion of preparing for a terrorist attack. They are said to have talked about a bomb attack at ASML in Veldhoven. They were also said to want to kill Geert Wilders, Mark Rutte and Thierry Baudet, and to sympathise with terror group IS.
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) pleaded Thursday for provisional release, and the court agreed. The reason is a study carried out by experts. They have spoken to the suspects. It emerged that there would be no ideological motive for terrorist acts.
Earlier, the lawyers of the suspects said that their clients had only made ‘wrong jokes’ and discussed Islam with each other.
On Thursday, the defense reiterated that position. There is also dissatisfaction about the reports of tapped conversations which, according to the lawyers, are incorrect and incomplete. For example, in conversation reports it mentions ‘martyrdom’ where ‘Moroccan BMW’ should have been said. Also, there was no mention of an ordinary bomb, but a ‘corona bomb’ at ASML.
The lawyer of one of the suspects pleaded for the recordings to be listened to again by an expert who is ‘at home in student life’. It was argued that, unlike the police, he would understand how curious, highly educated people talk to each other. The court did not agree with this, but the recordings will be listened to again.
Conversation with mother
The Public Prosecution Service did indicate that it had doubts about the sincerity of one of the suspects. He is seen as the ‘inspirator’ of the group. He is said to have called his mother from prison and talked about the upcoming investigation. His brother, also a suspect, had already been investigated at that time.
“This was just good preparation,” said the man’s lawyer. “The expert is very alert to giving socially desirable answers, which was not the case with my client.”
Source: Omroep Brabant
Translated by: Shanthi Ramani