Prosecution: prison sentence for hostage taker at Netherlands Broadcasting Authority
19 juni 2015 - Arrondissementsparket Midden-Nederland
The public prosecutor has demanded a prison sentence of four years, of which one year on suspension, against the hostage taker at the Netherlands Broadcasting Authority (NOS) at Hilversum. A 20 year old man from Pijnacker is charged with taking hostages, threat and illegal possession of a firearm.
On January 29th 2015 over one and a half million people expected to watch the eight o’clock news yet their TV screens remained black. At about five minutes to eight, a 20 year old man forced his way into the NOS-building armed with an alarm gun and took hostage of a security guard in order to obtain broadcasting time during prime time. The 20 year old man presented a letter to the security guard in which stated that eight explosives with radioactive material were put in various places throughout the country and that hackers were ready to carry out a cyber attack. He threatened with further actions should the broadcasting time not be granted. Shortly afterwards the police managed to arrest the man.
The investigation showed that the suspect had a interest in weapons and explosives, the press, intelligence and hacking. A report on his mental condition led to the conclusion that the student was fully aware of and accountable for his actions. A personality disorder has not been diagnosed but the suspect is characterized as a distrustful person with an identity problem and delusionary ideas. These signs may be indications of a future disorder but this is not necessarily so. In order for the suspect to develop positively, treatment is indicated in a compulsory setting.
The suspect stated that he wanted to shake up people and point out that the public opinion is being manipulated by the NOS. For this purpose he bought a gun in Germany, together with the silencer and ammunition and tested it. Then he wrote the letter, which he took with him to the NOS-building.
During todays court hearing, the public prosecutor emphasized that the suspect has struck the nation in its core. Hardly ever the arrest of a suspect has been broadcast so soon after the offence was committed, both on national television and abroad. This crime has had an enormous impact, not only on the NOS-employees, but on society in general, especially since this incident took place three weeks after the attack on members of the editorial staff of Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
Therefore the public prosecutor demanded a prison sentence for a period of four years, of which one year on suspension and a probation period of three years. During this period he should have compulsory supervision and treatment for his misbehavior. The prosecutor also demanded electronic detention for six months. Finally the suspect should not be allowed to enter the Media Park in Hilversum, also for a period of six months.