Mollucan train-jackers families: We want to know the truth

Hostage situation at De Punt (day 14), negotiators leave
Hostage situation at De Punt (day 14), negotiators leavePeters, Hans / AnefoWikimedia CommonsCC-0

The families of two Mollucan hijackers killed during the liberation of a train they hijacked in 1977, mainly want to know the truth about what happened to their relatives, they said during the first hearing of a trial against the Dutch state in the court in The Hague on Friday, NOS reports.

The family members hold the Dutch State responsible for the death of the two Molluccan hijackers. The families believe that they were executed by soldiers after they were unarmed and disabled. The lawyer representing the relatives, Liesbeth Zegveld, believes she has enouogh evidence to show that the State ordered the hijackers killed during an informal briefing of which there are no written records.

"I demand the truth", the mother of dead hijacer Max Papilaja said in the hearing, according to the broadcaster. "Why did my son get killed?" The brothers of Hansina Uktolseja, the only female hijacker that was shot and killed, also want to know exactly what happened. "Establishing the truth is very important to us."

In October an involved soldier allowed his lawyer to tell what happened, keeping his identity unkown. Accordng to the soldier, they were told during a briefing that the hijackers were not allowed to survive the assault on the train. This instruction was given by a special envoy from The Hague, the soldier said.

According to lawyer Zegveld, it is remarkable that nothing about this briefing was rittendown. "For three weeks, twenty days, the hostage situation lasted All those weeks there were consultations at the higest levels. Consultations that resulted in decisions and orders. And none of it was written down?" she said in court on Friday.

The soldier's statement is the third to suggest that the soldiers in the rescue mission were ordered to kill the Mollucan hijackers, and that hijackers were killed after they were disabled or surrendered.

A former volunteer at the SOS hotline in Groningen said that she once received a call from a man in the midst of a panic attack, according to NOS. He told her that he was a member of a special unit in the rescue operation.

"What I'm 100 percent sure of is this. This man spoke Malay. When he and the other commandos stormed the train, one of the hijackers put his hands up and shouted in Malay that he surrendered. the man who called me was face to face with the hijacker and he quoted verbatim what the man said in Malay. But the next moment the hijacker was riddled with bullets. The man who told me this still has serious problems with his conscience because of the events in which someone with his hands up was killed." the SOS volunteer said, according to the broadcaster.

Before that the son of a former employee of a police call center stated that his father told him the government gave the order to gun down the hijackers. "My father told me the following by telephone: at one point a secret message came through the control room that on the orders of minister Van Agt no South Moluccan terrorists may leave the train alive under any circumstances", the son said, according to NOS. "Particularly, I remember this well, Van Agt emphazised that the then 17-year-old girl that was part of this group could not leave the train alive under any circumstances."