Up to 4 years in prison for Amsterdam girl's abduction

Insiya Hemani, kidnapped from Amsterdam in September 2016
Insiya Hemani, kidnapped from Amsterdam in September 2016Photo: Nadia Rashid / Facebook

On Thursday the court in Amsterdam sentenced six people to up to four years in prison for their involvement in the abduction of then 2-year-old Insiya Hemani from her grandmother's Amsterdam apartment in 2016. The court considered it proven that, ordered by the girl's father, these six people helped to violently take Insiya away from her mother, NU.nl reports.

Most of those involved argued that they thought they were doing a good deed - helping a father get his child back - when they took the toddler from her grandmother's home. But according to the court, their intentions do not matter in this case, because a family has still been destroyed. The court called this a "violent and unheard of" case. 

Among the six people, 61-year-old Erik S., 54-year-old Daniel C., 50-year-old Robert B., and 56-year-old Huibert V. played the most important roles in the abduction. They were sentenced to between 3 years and 4 years and three months in prison. S.'s daughter Lizzy was sentenced to 16 months in prison. And 54-year-old Willem V. got 12 months in prison. 

Part of the evidence against the suspects came from a WhatsApp group that was created to discuss the plans for the abduction. Willem V. also drew up a detailed plan, describing every person's role. 

Insiya's father is the main suspect in this case. He took the now 5-year-old girl to India, where she is still living with him. Over the past years there have been many court cases about the child's custody. In March this year the Noord-Holland court revoked her father's custody of her. But India refuses to extradite him. The court raised major concerns about the girl's emotional development. "Apart from the father, nobody knows how the minor is doing, what she has been told and what all this is doing to her."

Insiya's father will be prosecuted in the Netherlands. On Thursday the Public Prosecutor said that the father and his cousin - who is also suspected of involvement in the abduction - will by summoned on Friday or early next week. "The case will likely be tried in absentia", the Prosecutor said.