OM: two Chechens held in Van Gogh murder inquiries

OM: two Chechens held in Van Gogh murder inquiries

AMSTERDAM � Two Chechen men have been arrested in recent weeks in connection with inquiries into the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh.

French police arrested 25-year-old Bislan I. at the request of Dutch justice officials earlier this month. His fingerprint was allegedly found on a document among the belongings of Mohammed B., the man who has confessed to Van Gogh’s murder.

Another Chechen man was arrested mid-April, the Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) in Amsterdam revealed on Thursday. Marat J., 22, was arrested in Schiedam.

Originally from the Chechen capital Grozny, J.’s fingerprints were allegedly discovered on a cassette tape found with B.

The Chechen
has since made a statement to police. His remand detention was extended by 30 days on Friday, Amsterdam Court said.

An OM spokesman said fingerprints belonging to the other Chechen, Bislan I, were found on a letter B. � a suspected Islamic militant � wrote to his family. The letter was found in a house on the Hart Nibbrigstraat in Amsterdam-Slotervaart, where B.’s father and sister live.

I. is allegedly linked to Chechen Islamic groups and was arrested in Tours on 18 May. He is currently waiting his expected extradition to the Netherlands at the start of June. He will then be remanded in custody and appear before a judge.

Investigations into the man’s actions continue and it is possible he will be included in inquiries into the suspected terror network Hofstad group.

Some 11 alleged members of the Hofstad group are being detained and the prosecutor suspects Mohammed B. played a leading role in the group. Members of the group are thought to have met with B. at his Amsterdam-West home.

Van Gogh was shot and stabbed on 2 November last year. The killer left a note plunged into his body with a knife warning MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali was next.

Van Gogh and Hirsi Ali collaborated on the film ‘Submission’, which cast a critical eye on domestic violence within Islamic communities.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

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