Most New Year's rioters escape prosecution
The Public Prosecution Authority (OM) is still investigating 13 of the 100 people who were arrested in the Veen, Brabant on the 30th of December. These will be prosecuted. For the 87 remaining suspects, the case has been dropped.
On the 30th of December, 2013, officers were called to come to the aid of firemen who were in the town putting out a burning car. Some dozen youths were preventing the fire department from doing its job, and they subsequently failed to listen to police instructions to leave.
According to the police, the youths proceeded to interfere further by pelting the officers with glass and fireworks. A police car was also damaged.
At first, police arrested six individuals. The rest hid in a pub. Police cordoned off the area around the pub and called for backup. The youths hiding in the pub were arrested within several hours.
The OM has said that it stands behind the mass arrest, despite criticism. According to the NOS, several people said that they were arrested without cause, and were sometimes prevented from contacting the outside world for days. Everyone was freed on the 4th of January.
Lawyer Thomas wants damages be paid to his clients who were unjustly apprehended. He also wants their rap sheets be cleared of this incident.
The OM says that the arrest was in the right because the police were confronted with a large group of people, several of whom were guilty of arson, public violence and destruction of police property.