TV news hijacker in court as prosecutor demands 4 years in prison

The appeal in the case against Tarik Z., the young man who tried to hijack the 8:00 p.m. NOS news broadcast in January, started in the court in Leeuwarden on Tuesday. The Public Prosecutor demanded 4 years in prison, one of which conditionally suspended, against the man, according to reporter Raymond Boere tweeting live from the courtroom.

The Public Prosecutor also demanded rehabilitation and mandatory psychiatric treatment in De Waag, a center that offers specialized treatment to people with a combination of a mental disorder and transgression behavior, and a location ban for the Mediapark in Hilversum. These demands are very close to what the Prosecutor demanded when the case was first tried. In July the court sentenced Z. to 30 months in prison, 15 of which suspended.

The Prosecutor called Z. paranoid, over sensitive and suspicious, citing an occasion in prison when he refused to eat his meal because the seal was broken as an example. He also believes in distorted and contradicting ideas, for example he wants to work for the intelligence services, which are the agencies he wanted to warn the public about when he tried to hijack the news broadcast. He believes that his actions will improve the chance of him getting a job there.

Z. handed a 31 pages long manuscript to the court, which he believes will show that his actions were not a hostage situation. The manuscript includes his versions of events, reactions to witnesses whose statements disagree with his own and the speech he wanted to read on the hijacked news broadcast.  The 20 year old man also told the court that, looking back, he would not call his actions clever.

When this case was first tried, behavioral experts stated that Z. was completely sane when he forced his way into the NOS building and that he does not need psychological treatment. According to the two psychiatrists who examined him, he suffers from "delusional ideas", but does not have an actual disorder.

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