Prosecutor wants community service for New Year's carbide cannon blast
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) recommended the court convict ten men who detonated a carbide cannon on New Year's Eve 2020 in Joure, Friesland. The OM suggested a punishment including a community service order of 180 hours and a two-month suspended prison sentence.
Three of the men were in the car that drove through the center of Joure in the evening with a slurry tank filled with 5 kilograms of carbide. The other seven were nearby when the big explosion at a bridge on the Tolhûswei happened just after 10 p.m. No one was seriously injured, but cars, shops, houses and a hotel in the vicinity were damaged. Many windows were broken in the hotel, with the owner estimating a total of 20 thousand euros in damages.
The men wanted to fire the converted slurry tank in a park, they told the court in Leeuwarden on Thursday. They all denied making the artillery. The explosion, they said, was not an action they agreed to do, but occurred accidentally. According to the prosecutor, it was not a prank, but rather a "deliberately dangerous action."
According to the prosecutor, a detonator must have been used and one of the men in the car operated it. The Public Prosecution Service sees the rest as co-perpetrators. The ten have always presented themselves as a group and have not provided clarity about everyone's role, the public prosecutor said. They also spoke via WhatsApp about the action, according to the prosecutor. Witnesses further stated that before the explosion, the men put their hands to their ears and some were filming. A witness heard a man yell "fingers in the ears" before the blow.
The men went to the police on 1 January and wanted to compensate for the material damage. They used a crowdfunding effort to raise 30 thousand euros to cover the damges. In doing so, they have taken their responsibility, according to the men. "It is not enough with a 'sorry' and paying for the damage," said the prosecutor.
The men's lawyers asked for acquittal. He thinks they have taken their responsibility. According to him, the technical justification for a deliberate action is lacking. Static electricity may have caused the explosion, he said.
According to the Public Prosecution Service, the investigation was not possible because the men had taken the car to a scrapyard, and the detonator was missing.
The verdict will be given on August 12.
Reporting by ANP