Alleged Dutch arms dealers remain silent during Paris Bataclan attack trial
Three Dutchmen called to testify in the trial around the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015 remained mostly silent on Tuesday. The court questioned them via video link about the origin of the weapons used in the attacks.
Belgian investigators believe that Ali El Haddad Asufi, who helped prepare the attacks, went to Rotterdam in the autumn of 2015 to obtain Kalashnikov machine guns. There he made contact with Dutchman Richard V., allegedly an international arms dealer, according to the Belgian authorities.
During the hearing, Richard V. denied knowing any of the suspects. "Do you remember meeting people coming from Brussels for a transaction at the end of October 2015?" the judge asked him. V. replied that he "thought" he was in Ecuador at the time.
His son Rick V. also decided against saying anything. Investigators found his phone number with Reda Kriket, a French-Algerian convicted for the attacks and sentenced to 24 years in prison last year.
Anass D., the third and final Dutch person called to testify in the trial, also exercised his right to remain silent. He is Ali El Haddad Asufi's cousin. The Dutchman is suspected of acting as an intermediary between Asufi and arms dealers in Rotterdam.
Reporting by ANP.