Van Gogh murder suspect confesses

The suspect in the killing of controversial Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh has confessed unexpectedly in court, saying he had no regrets.

    Van Gogh was killed apparently in retribution for his film

    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.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Trump's Middle East plan: Decoding a century of failed deals

    Trump's Middle East plan: Decoding a century of failed deals

    Al Jazeera read all 181 pages of 'the deal of the century', comparing its language with 100 years of failed agreements.

    We foreigners: What it means to be Bengali in India's Assam

    We foreigners: What it means to be Bengali in India's Assam

    As tensions over India's citizenship law shine a light on Assam, a writer explores the historical tensions in the state.

    Sentenced to death for blasphemy: Surviving Pakistan's death row

    Sentenced to death for blasphemy: Surviving Pakistan's death row

    The story of a man who spent 19 years awaiting execution reveals the power of a false blasphemy claim to destroy a life.