News station hostage-taker court hearing begins in May

Tarik Z.. (Tarik Z.)

Tarik Z., who forced his way into NOS news studios and held a security guard hostage, will appear before court for the first time in an initial hearing on May 12, NOS reports. The first substantial hearing is scheduled for June 19, says the Dutch Public Prosecutor.

Tarik Z. is suspected of kidnapping, making threats and possession of illegal weapon. Last month the court chamber extended his detention by 90 days.

The suspect entered the NOS building, located at the Media Park in Hilversum, on January 29, brandishing what turned out to be a fake weapon and demanding airtime on the evening news. Pressuring the broadcaster's producers to meet his demands, he also took a security guard hostage. The guard brought him into an empty TV studio, where the police overpowered him several minutes later.

Soon after the incident, a terrorism-related motive was largely ruled out.