"Assassination Squad" sentenced to up to eight years in prison

The Amsterdam court sentenced the members of an Utrecht "assassination squad" to up to eight years in prison on Monday. The sentence is much lower than the up to 17 years the Public Prosecutor demanded in September.

The court considered it proven that these suspects were part of an organization with the aim of committing assassinations. But the court did not find the men guilty of planning to commit assassinations - the Prosecutor could not prove who the intended targets were, or whether they were meant to be killed. The suspects seem to be pleased with the sentencing, and embraced each other after it was announced, according to the Telegraaf. 

Four men considered the center of the organization were given the highest sentences. The court considers it proven that these men played a key role in storing and trading firearms.Four others were given sentences of seven and three years. Two men who were not part of the organization, but did perform some side tasks, were given prison sentences of a few months. 

The Public Prosecutor will very likely appeal, according to the newspaper. 

The members of this gang were arrested last summer, after an car theft investigation from Rotterdam led to the discovery of an enormous arsenal in Nieuwegein.