Jitse Akse (Photo: Justice for Jitse/Facebook) - Credit: Jitse Akse (Photo: Justice for Jitse/Facebook)
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 - 08:33
Dutch vigilante not to be prosecuted for taking on ISIS
Jitse Akse will not be prosecuted. The criminal investigation against the former Dutch soldier could not find sufficient evidence to prove that he personally killed ISIS jihadists in Syria, as he claimed in the press earlier this year, the Public Prosecutor announced on Tuesday. The 47-year-old man was arrested in January after he stated on social media that he fought on the side of the Kurdish militia YPG in the fight against terrorist organization Islamic State in Syria. The police launched an investigation into these statements to find out whether any criminal offenses were committed. This investigation did not find sufficient evidence for prosecution. After his arrest Akse told the police that his statements to the media was "nothing more than an exciting story". Other than that he chose to remain silent. According to the prosecutor, the truth of Aske's statements are difficult to determine, "especially since they were not supported by any other evidence". Investigation at the scene in the present war conditions is currently not a feasible options and there are also no concrete leads to do so. The Public Prosecutor therefore decided to dismiss the case against him. The Pubic Prosecutor informed Akse of this decision in person and also reminded him that citizens' unauthorized participation in an armed conflict is illegal. The Prosecutor also stated that the social unrest following Akse's arrest is understandable. "However, if specific there are specific indications of criminal offenses, the Public Prosecutor has to investigate it, regardless of who that person is and against who he fought. The aim is to determine whether he committed serious criminal offenses." Akse is not the only former Dutch soldier who fought in Syria and Iraq. Two months ago the 2015 figures from military intelligence service MIVD revealed that between 15 and 20 Dutch soldiers were actively fighting in the war torn countries last year. These former soldiers – both professional soldiers and former conscripts – individually joined with Kurdish or Christian groups to fight in the Syrian civil war. A singe one joined terrorist organization Islamic State.