Muhammad Bouyeri is accused of killing Van Gogh, threatening politicians, impeding democracy, possessing illegal weapons and attacking police and bystanders.

Bouyeri said in the final minutes of his two-day trial: "If I were released and would have the chance to do it again, what I did on 2 November, I would do exactly the same thing."

Bouyeri said: "I take the full responsibility on myself.

"I would be indeed cowardly if I would hide myself here behind the rules of the game and miss the chance to get the maximum sentence," he said.

He said he felt an obligation to Van Gogh's mother, Anneke, present in court, to speak, but offered no sympathy.

 

"I have to admit I do not feel for you, I do not feel your pain ... because I believe you are an infidel," he said.

 

"I acted out of conviction - not because I hated your son."


Defiant suspect

 

"I would do the same to my brother or father" if they had insulted the Prophet Muhammad, he said.

The killing is believed to have been an act of retribution for Van Gogh's controversial film Submission, which many felt had insulted Islam and Muslims.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote the script
for the Van Gogh film

The suspect is said to have left a five-page note fixed to the controversial filmmaker's body threatening another controversial Dutch figure - Somali-born Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who wrote the screenplay for the inciteful film.

The killing of Van Gogh led to a wave of attacks on Muslims and mosques in the Netherlands.

It also led to an intense national debate over the Muslims in the country, who make up 6% of its 16 million people.

Maximum sentence


Prosecutor Frits van Straelen demanded a maximum life sentence for Bouyeri.

 

Van Straelen said: "With his crimes the defendant sought to scare many people and he succeeded in that."

 

A verdict is to be handed down at the end of the month.