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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Moroccan Muslim killer of Theo van Gogh trial ends with court confession - told brother " I butchered him "

Moroccan Muslim killer of Theo van Gogh trial ends with court confession - told brother " I butchered him "

Verdict expected July 26th - Life imprisonment expected
July 14, 2005

MIM: Mohammed Bouyeri told his brother that the Dutch "were idiots" for not having a death penalty - since he would have begged for it . Given the fact that Bouyeri recruited for Jihad in the pyschiatric clinic where he was a patient - its stand to reason that he will be doing the same in jail. Bouyeri has celebrity status among Moroccan youth in Holland who say he is their 'example'. It is very likely that Bouyeri will not only be able to recruit people for radical Islam in jail - he might well become the leader of a group whose members are released and continue where he was forced to leave off.

Muslim radical confesses to Van Gogh killing in court tirade
By Anthony Browne, Brussels Correspondent

Mohammed Bouyeri

The self-confessed killer of Theo van Gogh faced the victim's mother in an Amsterdam court today and told her he felt no remorse for his crime.

Turning his chair towards Anneke van Gogh as she watched from the public gallery, the Moroccan-born Mohammed Bouyeri said: "I don't feel your pain. I don't have any sympathy for you. I can't feel for you because I think you're a non-believer."

The Islamic radical admitted killing Mr Van Gogh, a Dutch film maker, saying he was driven by his religious beliefs, and claimed he would do the same again.

Mr Bouyeri, the son of Moroccan immigrants to the Netherlands, is accused of shooting and stabbing van Gogh to death in broad daylight in the streets of Amsterdam in November, before nearly decapitating him and impaling a five-page note declaring holy war into his corpse with a knife.

Despite insisting on his right to silence when the trial opened yesterday, Mr Bouyeri spoke out publicly today for the first time about the murder which sparked a wave of ethnic and religious violence across the once-tolerant country.

Clutching a Koran, and wearing a flowing robe and a black and white chequered headscarf, Mr Bouyeri praised Allah and the prophet Mohammed before admitting the killing.

In a chilling insight into his mindset, he told the panel of judges: "I did what I did purely out of my beliefs. I want you to know that I acted out of conviction and not that I took his life because he was Dutch or because I was Moroccan and felt insulted."

Seven months before his ritualistic slaughter, van Gogh had produced a film about domestic violence in Islam, which offended many Muslims. Mr Bouyeri insisted: "If I ever get free, I would do it again."

He was caught by police in a gun battle after he fled the scene of the crime spattered in van Gogh's blood. A note was found in his pocket saying that he wanted to become a martyr.

Speaking in Dutch with a Moroccan accent, he turned to police in the court and said: "I shot to kill and be killed. You cannot understand."

Some spectators rose to their feet, visibly stunned by his comments. The confession and lack of remorse highlight the worst fears haunting the mainstream Dutch society about the seemingly unbridgeable gap between them and some of the alienated Muslim youths growing up in the country.

Mr Bouyeri, 27, was a well-educated moderate Muslim who was considered reasonably well integrated, before becoming radicalised nearly two years ago. Prosecutors say that he had become dedicated to Holy War against the enemies of Islam and had murdered van Gogh to spread terror in the Netherlands.

They claim he is part of a network of Islamic with international links called the Hofstad Group, many of whose members are awaiting trial on terrorism charges in Rotterdam. The chief prosecutor, Frits van Straelen, told the court: "The accused preaches a message of hate and violence. He preaches that anyone who thinks differently can be killed."

The verdict is expected on July 26. Mr Bouyeri faces life imprisonment without probation.



AMSTERDAM There are indications that other people knew of the plan to kill Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, the presiding judge said on the first day of the trial of Amsterdammer Mohammed B...

Judge Udo Willem Baron Bentinck referred on Monday to portions of the book of evidence that seemed to suggest that several alleged members of the Hofstadgroep may have been aware of B.'s plan. "But, I do not see hard evidence one, two three," Judge Bentinck said.

A separate trial has already opened in Rotterdam against 12 young Muslims who are alleged to be part of the Hofstadgroep, a group that police say is a Dutch-based Muslim fundamentalist terrorist organisation.

Prosecutors in B.'s case claimed during a pre-trial hearing that he was a leading member of the Hofstadgroep.

B. was dressed in a dark djellaba robe with a Palestinian scarf covering his hair when he was brought to the high-security Amsterdam-Osdorp court in the morning.

He had indicated via his lawyer last week that he did not wish to have any part in the court case. The attorney general responded by getting a court order to compel his appearance, by force if necessary.

As expected, B. refused to contribute to the hearing and began by turning his back to the judges. He only broke his silence to confirm that he did not wish to add anything to statements made on his behalf by his lawyer, Peter Plasman.

Plasman had already indicated his client did not wish to defend himself against the charges of murdering Van Gogh and shooting at police. Plasman again told the court B. took full responsibility for killing Van Gogh.

The three judges expressed amazement that B. intended to sit unmoved in court as the case is outlined against him.

The judges read passages from comments made to police and bugged telephone conversations he had with acquaintances. B. was seen to smile on several occasions during the hearing.

B. indicated in these comments that he had wanted to be killed for murdering Van Gogh. "I swear to God if they had the death penalty, I would have begged for it. Idiots," he told his brother Hassan during a telephone call on 19 January this year.

In another conversation, B. told his brother: "Yes, I knew what I was doing. I butchered him." He then laughed, Bentinck told the court. B. also acknowledged the killing was a "terrorist action".

B. was wounded in the leg during a gunbattle with police shortly after he murdered Van Gogh. As he was being brought under guard to hospital, officers told B. he was lucky he had not been shot dead. "That was in fact the intention," B. answered.

Van Gogh appears to have been singled out because he had made a number of intolerant remarks about Muslims and had directed the movie Submission which sharply criticised the treatment of woman under Islam.

The author of the film, MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, was threatened in a note B. pinned to Van Gogh's body with a knife.

The accused is described as Mohammed B. by media organisations in the Netherlands due to privacy concerns. He has been named in full by the foreign media.



12 July 2005

AMSTERDAM Mohammed B. broke his silence for only the second time during his murder trial and told the judges on Tuesday: "If I was given the opportunity to do it again, I would do precisely the the same".

B. is a 27-year-old Amsterdammer of Moroccan descent who has admitted shooting, stabbing and cutting the throat of Theo van Gogh in broad daylight in Amsterdam on 2 November 2004.

One of the notes he wrote before the murder indicated he hoped to be killed by police after killing Van Gogh. In the event, B. was shoot in the leg and overpowered by police after a short gunbattle.

Since then, B. has again indicated he feels no remorse for his actions and he told his brother if the Netherlands had the death penalty, he would beg for it.

Rounding off the case against B. on Tuesday, prosecutor Frits van Straelen said the killer was and would always remain dangerous. Evidence was given of B.'s obsession with death and killing.

The court should send B. to jail for life, the judges were told.

The three-judge panel will deliver its verdict and most likely announce sentence on 26 July.

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