Van Gogh killer presents own defense in new case

February 2, 2006 13:59
1 minute read.


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The convicted killer of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh addressed an Amsterdam court again Thursday, presenting his own defense to separate terrorism charges as one of 13 men who allegedly planned attacks on Dutch politicians. Mohammed Bouyeri, 27, is already serving a life sentence for Van Gogh's November 2, 2004, murder, which Bouyeri said he carried out alone because he believed Van Gogh insulted Islam in his film criticizing the treatment of Muslim women. In the new trial, in which he is charged as a member of a criminal group that planned terrorist attacks, Bouyeri insisted on presenting his own defense and was granted three hours to speak. He faces no additional punishment since his previous sentence has no parole. But prosecutors felt his inclusion in the group would increase the chances other alleged members would be convicted. Bouyeri, who was born in Amsterdam of Moroccan parents, began his allotted time with a prayer in Arabic. Wearing a red-checkered head scarf, he said he felt "honored" by prosecutors' accusation that his philosophy was similar to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden's, then embarked on a rambling discussion of Islamic history and law. He said that good non-Muslims should be treated fairly because "Allah loves the just" but that leaders of non-Muslims who are dishonest should be killed. "Kill them, and Allah will help you and guide your hand," Bouyeri said. "There's no room there for doubt or interpretation there." He said that killing one innocent Muslim is morally equivalent to killing all Muslims and then remarked in English, "that's for your administration, Uncle Bush," in an apparent reference to the US President. He quoted the Quran frequently, at times in Arabic, but also cited wide ranging-sources such as science philosopher Thomas Kuhn and terrorism expert Jessica Stern.

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