Paranoia and weapons: new details emerge in sister's murder

BartVanU
Bart van U. implicated in the January 2015 murder of his sister Lois in RotterdamBart van U. implicated in the January 2015 murder of his sister Lois in Rotterdam

New details emerged about the 38 year old Bart van U., who surrendered to the police in connection with his sister's murder.

Van U. turned himself in at the police station in Amsterdam. He invoked his right to remain silent, the AD reports. "I guess that he only wants to make a statement in front of the judge", said his lawyer Noelle Pieterse, who knows him from an earlier case.

Late in 2011 an anonymous tipster raised the alarm because Van U. had a firearm in the house, while being mentally unstable. Upon his arrest, Van U. was wearing a safety vest, according to AD. He had two knives in his pocket and a loaded gun in his waistband. There were more weapons in his house. His firearm license was revoked in 2009, because of his mental state.

At probation Van U. stated that he thinks he is allowed to be armed. Since the attacks on September 11th, 2001, Van U. sees Islamic threats everywhere and is confident that he will be the victim of an attack if he doesn't do something. He is not confident that the government can protect him. As an example, he told the court that the police failed to catch the thief who stole his bicycle, AD reports.

Because Van U. refused any form of treatment, the court sentenced him to three years in prison, a relatively high penalty for weapon possession. This is because Van U. without treatment would pose a serious threat to society and had to be kept off the streets for as long as possible. "The suspect seems to not stay away from confrontation. These confrontations can, when taking into account the possession of weapons, be fatal for both himself and for potential victims."

His sister Lois, a top official of the municipalities Barendrecht, Albrandswaard and Ridderkerk, gave Van U. shelter despite his problems. He lived above her in Oudedijk, Rotterdam. According to AD, the few times he visited a cafe in his street, he stood out because of his eccentric behavior. On Saturday morning a friend discovered Lois' lifeless body at the bottom of the stairs in her home. She seemed to have been stabbed to death.

It is rumored that Van U. was "exhausted" by the events in Paris, AD reports. His lawyer could not confirm this. "In the questioning he would say only his name, he would not answer any questions." An earlier judgment states that "his life is determined by the way the media thinks and talks about terrorism".

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