Man shot dead in court after taking lawyer hostage

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A man charged with robbery was shot dead in a Dutch courtroom by police yesterday after he held the prosecutor hostage at gunpoint.

A man charged with robbery was shot dead in a Dutch courtroom by police yesterday after he held the prosecutor hostage at gunpoint.

Armed police stormed the building and the prosecutor was seriously wounded in the shootout, although it was not clear if he was hit by the defendant or the police.

The 20-year-old Albanian had come to the court in Arnhem for a procedural hearing after being accused of taking part in a bank raid. Conflicting reports said he seized a gun from a court guard or smuggled a gun into court.

Police said he had previously demanded to meet his co-defendant and threatened to kill the prosecutor during several telephone conversations with the authorities.

A journalist from De Gelderlander newspaper said the three judges managed to escape, but the man held the prosecutor, and possibly an interpreter, at gunpoint.

A police spokesman, Jos Rouwen, said officers stormed the court after the man fired shots. "The situation in the courtroom had become extremely threatening," he said. "The man was known by prosecutors and police in several countries to be violent."

Meanwhile a 45-year-old man slit his own throat after a judge in Assen handed down a 30-month jail sentence. The man, from Nieuw-Buinen in the north-eastern province of Drenthe, was rushed to hospital where he survived after emergency surgery.

He was jailed for sexually abusing his nine-year old stepdaughter. The court heard he blindfolded her and molested her in a secret sadomasochistic chamber last summer while her mother slept near by. The man also allegedly killed his nephew 25 years ago.

"The judge read the verdict sentencing the man to 30 months and immediately afterwards he took an object, wounded himself in the throat and lost a lot of blood," said Jan van der Kolk, a court official.

And in De Marwei prison in the northern city of Leeuwarden, an inmate stabbed a female prison official to death yesterday. The prisoner, reportedly in a unit for mentally disturbed inmates, apparently used a sharp tool taken from the prison workshop.

Comments