Dutch Supreme Court orders retrial of 7 men cleared on appeal of terror group membership

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dutch Supreme Court orders terror retrial

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Dutch Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the retrial of seven men who were cleared on appeal in 2008 of being members of a terrorist organization.

The reversal was a victory for prosecutors in their long-running legal battle with members of an alleged homegrown terror network known as the Hofstad Group.

The Supreme Court ruled the Hague Appeals Court was wrong when it overturned the convictions in January 2008 and ordered the Amsterdam Appeals Court to rehear the case.

“The appeals court set the evidentiary bar too high for proving the existence and structure of criminal or terrorist organizations,” the Supreme Court said in its written ruling.

No date was set for new hearings.

The seven were associates of Mohammed Bouyeri, who is serving a life sentence for the 2004 murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh. The killing, in which van Gogh was shot and his throat was slit on an Amsterdam street, was found to be an act of terrorism.

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