Electrician's assassination in Almere not yet linked to Iran, Prosecutor says

Flags of the Netherlands and Iran
Flags of the Netherlands and IranPhoto: Alexandra_Strekoza/DepositPhotos

So far the investigation into the murder of electrician Ali Motamed in Almere in 2015 revealed no link to Iran, the Public Prosecutor said on Tuesday in a proforma hearing against the Naoufal F. - the man suspected of ordering Motamed's assassination, NOS reports.

Early this month the AIVD said that Iran was almost certainly involved in two assassinations in the Netherlands - that of Motamed in Almere in 2015, and the murder of Ahmad Nissi in The Hague in 2017. Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs already said that it is not surprising that Iran's involvement in the two assassinations was not confirmed by the criminal investigations. "The valuation of information within the criminal law system is different from the valuation of intelligence by the intelligence services."

Ali Motamed was shot and killed as he left his Almere home to go to his job as electrician at energy company Eneco on December 15th, 2015. Shortly after his murder it was discovered that Ali Motamed was not the victim's real name. His real name was Mohammad Samadi. He was sentenced to death in Iran for a bomb attack in which over 70 people were killed in 1981.

According to the Public Prosecutor, the man had no criminal ties in the Netherlands and the motive for his murder is still unclear.

Naoufal F.'s lawyer finds it strange that the Public Prosecutor did not investigate the victim's background more thoroughly. The lawyer wanted to know whether Iran is involved in the criminal investigation. According to the lawyer, her client is not involved in this case in any way. 

The two men suspected of committing the assassination, 28-year-old Anoear A. and 35-year-old Moreo M., will stand trial on Friday. According to the Prosecutor. Naoufal A. ordered them to kill Motamed. Messages decrypted by the police show that A. and M. also do not know the motive of the murder. "I do not know why he has to sleep and I do not even want to know... Hahahaha", one of the gunmen texted. 

Naoufal F. is already serving a prison sentence of 18 years for attempting to assassinate Peter R. in Diemen in November 2015. Despite 34 shots being fired, R. managed to escape with his life. The other suspects in this case were sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.