18 years in jail demanded for murder of Bas van Wijk, shot dead in wrist watch theft
The trial started on Monday in the shooting of 24-year-old Bas van Wijk, killed last August. Defendant Samir el Y. confessed to shooting Van Wijk, and stated in court that he fired his weapon three times. Two of the bullets hit Bas, wounding him fatally.
After the first day of two slated for the trial, prosecutors demanded 18 years in prison for El Y. They also want him to undergo mandatory psychiatric institutionalization.
The 21-year-old defendant explained to the court that an argument arose that day on the beach at Nieuwe Meer between his own group of friends and the victim’s friends. The fight began over a fake Rolex watch which belonged to a close friend of Van Wijk. They believed that El Y.’s aggressive behavior and persistent questions about the watch indicated he wanted to steal the piece. Only last was it made clear that the watch was a copy.
El Y. denied this accusation. “I had absolutely no intention of taking away the watch”, he stated in court, according to the ANP. “It was an argument that got out of hand. I wanted to impress them instead of running away. I can’t explain it well”, he added.
“I felt humiliated and pulled out the weapon. I was in the middle of the group and the atmosphere was tense. Then, I drew my weapon and fired it in the water as a warning shot”, El Y. said about the first shot he fired that day, according to the AD.
It was at this point, that Van Wijk intervened and addressed the shooter directly saying “stop it”. Samir then shot two more times at the victim hitting once in the leg and shooting him once fatally in the chest. After firing his weapon, the defendant fled the scene. El Y. claimed to demand the watch because he wanted to impress, not to make money.
“It all went very quickly. I was in shock. Then, I ran and realized it wasn’t right”, El Y. stated.
“Rolex, Rolex, Rolex," is what prosecutors allege El Y. kept shouting with the gun in his hand. "By shooting Bas van Wijk he could complete the robbery," the prosecutor said, according to Parool. "The motive for taking Bas's life lay solely in getting and keeping the watch. He wanted the watch. Period."
El Y. was arrested two days after the incident. A loaded firearm and the counterfeit watch were found in his mother’s Toyota. He confessed to the murder in one of his first interrogation rounds. The defendant will also be tried for the illegal sale of weapons. He had hoped that his sentencing will fall under juvenile law, but his request was denied.
"Does the suspect have any idea what emotional havoc he has wreaked in our lives?" Van Wijk's father wondered while making a statement to the court. "The loss of Bas has had a huge impact. We are scarred for life. Every day I miss Bas. Every day I feel the pain," he said, according to Parool.
The defense will be presented on Thursday. A ruling in the case is expected on May 18.