Tuesday, 25 March 2014 - 09:15
UAE releases Dutch plane spotters
Minister Frans Timmermans of Foreign Affairs has announced that the three plane spotters who were held in the United Arab Emirates have been freed, and have been back in the Netherlands since Tuesday morning. At the end of January, the UAE accused the three hobbyists of espionage as they had "photographed forbidden objects in restricted areas." The plane spotters, including a 52-year old man from Nieuw-Vennep, were given a jail sentence of 54 days, which they have sat out, the ministry of Foreign Affairs reports. Minister Timmermans made the announcement on his Facebook page, as he called special attention to this case in February, bringing up the incident during a discussion with Sheik Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan at the security conference in Munich. Timmermans says he is "happy and relieved" about the release. "For them and their family, this is an end to a very difficult period. I thank everyone who helped bring this case to a good end", Timmermans writes.