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Officials worry over extremist becoming 'prison prophet'

Chamber wants preventive action

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

AMSTERDAM - Both the Second Chamber and the Public Prosecutors' Office (OM) fear that Theo van Gogh's killer Mohammed Bouyeri will use his years in prison to spread radical Islamic messages to other inmates and into the outside world. They are demanding preventive action from Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner (CDA).

During the inquiry into the murder of prominent columnist, filmmaker and Islam-critic Theo van Gogh, the OM intercepted two documents written by Bouyeri in pre-trial custody. Once the trial is over, the OM can no longer impose any prohibitions. Bouyeri 's sentence will be announced soon. The OM has asked for life imprisonment.

The OM warned Minister Donner that he should take steps to prevent Bouyeri from growing into an icon for radical Muslims, by regularly sending messages out into the world from his cell. The Second Chamber shares this concern. The MPs also fear that Bouyeri will continue recruiting Jihad fighters from behind prison bars.

Bouyeri already has tried to recruit fighters for the Jihad in the PBC, the Justice Ministry's behavioural research clinic. He gave two men in his section lessons from the Koran, lent them violent texts and segregated himself with them.

Minister Donner will investigate whether the existing rules are sufficient to eliminate the risks. Christian Democrat (CDA) MP Wim van de Camp wants Donner to produce a satisfactory solution quickly. Otherwise the House will put forward an initiative bill, announced Van de Camp who seeks to ensure that no one in two years' time needs to say: if only we had done this or that."

In principle, anyone in the Netherlands may write, publish and distribute articles, including convicted criminals. If the texts infringe criminal law, for example when they incite hatred or sedition, the author can be prosecuted. But if Mohammed Bouyeri receives a life sentence for murdering Theo van Gogh, no further sanction can be imposed on him for any future criminal offence.