Partial confession in explosive attack on media outlet

Gavel with lady justice in the background
Gavel with lady justice in the backgroundPhoto: SergPoznanskiy/DepositPhotos

One of the suspects in an attack on media outlet Panorama in Amsterdam last year, partially confessed to his role in the attack. During the trial against the three suspects on Monday, 26-year-old Mike van den B. told the court that he was there when a rocket launcher was fired at the building on Teleportboulevard in Amsterdam-Sloterdijk, but that he didn't know that it was going to happen, AD reports.

The attack on the weekly magazine Panorama happened on June 21st last year. The rocket launcher did considerable damage to the building, but fortunately no one was injured. Three suspects, 42-year-old Richard Z., 46-year-old John P., and 26-year-old Mike van den B., were arrested.

So far all three suspects denied any involvement in the attack. But at the start of the trial on Monday, Van den B. said he had something to say about his role. "I am only coming with it now, because I didn't dare at first." According to Van den B., the only thing he knew was that he was to be a driver. "I did not know that a building was going to be shot at. Journalists should just be able to do their job", Van den B. said in court. He admitted to seeing an "elongated object" being put in the trunk of his car. He would not say who put it in the car. "I don't talk about others." 

The Public Prosecutor has solid evidence against Mike van den B. and fellow suspect John P., according to the newspaper. P.'s DNA was found on the rocket launcher's launch tube. And forensic investigators found glass particles in Van den B.'s car which they believe came from the windows that shattered when the rocket launcher was fired at the Panorama building. Van den B. now confessed that he was there during the attack. But John P. still denies any involvement. 

The third suspect, Richard Z., is the president of the Woerden chapter of outlaw motorcycle gang Caloh Wagoh. At the time of the Panorama attack, the authorities were already keeping an eye on Z. due to information that Z. and a member of Caloh Wagoh "would do something in the neighborhood of Sloterdijk". Z. was not in Amsterdam on the night of the attack, but the Public Prosecutor believes he played a coordinating role in the attack. He denies any involvement.