TV hostage taker sentenced to 15 months in prison

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The court in Lelystad sentenced Tarik Z. - the man responsible for the hostage situation at the NOS Journaal earlier this year - to 30 months in prison, 15 of which suspended, on Friday.

The court found Z. guilty of kidnapping, treats and illegal possession of a weapon, NOS reports. The 20 year old man is also banned from coming within 5 kilometres of the Media Park in Hilversum and must pay damages of 4 thousand euros to the involved NOS security guards and a director.

On January 29th Z. forced his way into the NOS building with a gas pistol. He took a security guard hostage and demanded airtime in the 20:00 Journaal. A short time later he was overpowered by the police. No one was injured.

Z. told the court last month that he had wanted to warn people of "the foundations of the current monetary system" and of the "large-scale manipulation" by NOS. In court on Friday Z. said that he still believes those ideas and want the people to know.But he did apologise for the fear and anguish he caused.

The experts that evaluated Z.'s mental state concluded that he is not suffering from a mental disorder and therefore does not require treatment.

The Public Prosecutor demanded a 4 year prison sentence against Z., stating that his actions were an attack on free speech. The court ultimately decided on a lesser sentence, saying that Z.'s actions were amateurish. The court also gave the fact that NOS repeatedly aired video footage of NOS, even after there was no longer need for it, as a reason for the lesser sentence.

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