Suspect denies active role in takeaway restaurant bombings, shootings
The 19-year-old man who is suspected of committing violent attacks on restaurants in The Hague and Rotterdam admitted that he was present at those attacks, but claimed he did not play an active role in them. The suspect, Xavierno L. from Capelle aan den IJssel, made his statement in court in Rotterdam on Wednesday during the first public hearing in his case.
Co-defendant Leon A. is said to have placed the explosives and fired the gunshots. It concerns outlets of the Surinamese takeaway restaurant Lobi BBQ on the Hoefkade in The Hague and on the Claes de Vrieselaan in Rotterdam, where explosives were detonated, or gunshots were fired at the restaurant. There were no injuries. The restaurants have since been closed
Four suspects were detained in the case, including L. and A. The other two are underage suspects. L. admitted that although he was in A.’s car when they drove to both restaurants, he played no role in the attacks. His lawyer asked the court to release him.
The public prosecutor, however, presented a completely different view. “L. was released a day earlier in another criminal case in which he was a suspect. And he immediately gets into someone’s car on the way to other criminal offenses.”
The court decided to keep L. in pre-trial detention. “The number of incidents in which homes or companies are shot at, or where bombs are placed in front of the door, has risen sharply in Rotterdam,” said the chair of the court. “That’s not good,” he added when explaining the reasoning about what the court took into account in making its decision.
The status hearing on Wednesday was held in advance of the trial, which should take place later this year. The date of the next hearing has not yet been announced.
Reporting by ANP