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Dutch & Belgian news and links (made) available in English; not just the pretty stuff or clickbait (though some of it will be)

Bus drivers catch out robbers: “We did our best”

Source: TV broadcaster AT5, the Netherlands, 28 december 2015

Two bus drivers who were asked by three young robbers to wait, spoke to AT5 television: “I hinted at them to come to the next stop.”

Bus drivers Farid and Ali had got talking to the three young lads early Saturday evening at the bus station on Elandsgracht in Amsterdam. “It was strange, three sixteen-year-olds, sat outside on a bench. I was like, what are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be at home on the couch, where it’s warm? Or play your Playstations like we used to at that age?”

After their conversation with the trio, as the two drivers got on their bus to depart, they witnessed the boys entering the Texaco petrol station with a large knife and a hammer. As the three exited they tried to board the bus to get away, but it had already driven off. “Then I looked over my shoulder and gestured at him as if to tell him to come to the next stop,” says Ali.

De boys ran after the bus to the next stop, which happens to be opposite the police station. By then Farid had already got on the phone to police. “We did our best. I think everyone would, just like that,” Farid states. Ali adds: “I think it mattered that there were two of us, so we had each other’s backs.”

Police thanked the drivers for their swift action.

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Disclaimer: Jo has no control over the contents of any linked sites or any changes or updates to them, nor does she accept liability for any damages incurred as a result of visiting sites linked to in this blog.

This particular blog entry was based on the Dutch article as published on 28 December 2015 at 10.11 PM (CET); any changes made by or to the source after this date will not be reflected in this post.

If you are responsible for the original source referred to in this blog entry and object to your work having been linked here, please send a message in Dutch or English to clogwatch(at)yvaweb(dot)com.

Please note that Jo has no press affiliation or accreditation whatsoever.

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Suicide bomber’s mother: “My son Bilal lived like everyone else”

Source: Newspaper De Standaard, Belgium, Sunday 27 December 2015

Brussels – The mother of Bilal Hadfi, one of the suicide bombers to blow himself up in Paris last November, phoned in to Belgian-Moroccan TV station Maghreb TV to talk about her son’s radicalisation. “We could not have foreseen it,” she said. “His lived life the same as everyone else.”

Fatima Hadfi made the unexpected phone call to Maghreb TV on Saturday. Presenter Mohamed Tijjini appeared surprised when told who was on the line to him.

In an on-air conversation that lasted about half an hour Fatima Hadfi explained what she believed drove her son to terrorism. Security services had already been searching for Brussels man Bilal Hadfi for months when, on November 13, he blew himself up outside the Stade de France in Paris. In February he had left for Syria.

Bilal Hadfi’s family have had difficulties trying to claim his remains. “His body is as yet in Paris. We have done everything necessary, but nothing is happening,” his mother said.

Fatima Hadfi believes her son was pushed to the brink by society. “He got caught in a downward spiral,” she said. “We could not have foreseen it. He lived life the same as everyone else. He went to school. He was harassed by a teacher for two years. … He was a good guy. Friendly and helpful. Nevertheless he was destabilised.”

She explained how Bilal felt excluded from society, which drove him into the arms of radicalised muslims. “He didn’t radicalise on his own volition; he was manipulated and indoctrinated by others.”

Bilal Hadfi was a French national, but his family has lived in social housing in Brussels for many years. The attacks in Paris killed 130 people.

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Disclaimer: Jo has no control over the contents of any linked sites or any changes or updates to them, nor does she accept liability for any damages incurred as a result of visiting sites linked to in this blog.

This particular blog entry was based on the Belgian article as published on 27 December 2015 at 6.39 (PM) CET; any changes made by or to the source after this date and time will not be reflected in this post.

If you are responsible for the original source referred to in this blog entry and object to your work having been linked here, please send a message in Dutch or English to clogwatch(at)yvaweb(dot)com.

Please note that Jo has no press affiliation or accreditation whatsoever.

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Cat alerts owners to fire: “Our Maxi saved our lives”

Source: Het Nieuwsblad, Belgium, 26 December 2015

Diksmuide – “We wouldn’t be here now if it hadn’t been for our Maxi.” The tomcat belonging to Jacques Vermeersch (63) and Marleen Onraedt (59) from Diksmuide in Belgium woke up his owners as fire raged through their utility room. Thanks to their pet the couple made it out of the house safely.

Around 4am on Saturday morning Maxi stood at his owners’ bedside meowing loudly. Jacques Vermeersch explains: “It wasn’t the first time Maxi woke us up. Sometimes he does it because he’s hungry, but never this early in the morning. So at first we were annoyed with our cat and told him it was way too early. But Maxi kept on meowing, so eventually Marleen got up and walked downstairs with him. That’s when she noticed all the smoke and discovered the fire in the utility room.”

Heavy fire

The fire was rather heavy and left substantial damage to the utility room which housed the dryer and the washing machine that caused the fire. “Some of the ceiling beams are deeply charged and in places severely damaged by the fire. Any other appliances in the room were broken or melted due to the heat. Even the windows cracked.”

Thankfully firefighters managed to put out the flames pretty swiftly.

Maxi the hero

“Imagine if the smoke had reached our bedroom. It would have killed us, for sure. Maxi is our hero. We have already had him for nine years, but we will be sure to spoil him even more from now on. We wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for him.

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Disclaimer: Jo has no control over the contents of any linked sites or any changes or updates to them, nor does she accept liability for any damages incurred as a result of visiting sites linked to in this blog.

This particular blog entry was based on the Belgian article as published on 26 December 2015; any changes made by or to the source after this date will not be reflected in this post.

If you are responsible for the original source referred to in this blog entry and object to your work having been linked here, please send a message in Dutch or English to clogwatch(at)yvaweb(dot)com.

Please note that Jo has no press affiliation or accreditation whatsoever.

Like this? Hire Jo or Make a donation

Via Twitter: Why Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum is dropping the word ‘negro’ from its historic art

Via Twitter: Dutch anti-refugee protest turns violent

Father of perished 17-year-old: “Thanks for murdering my only child”

Source: Broadcaster Omroep West, the Netherlands, 20 July 2014

The Hague — The father of Elsemiek de Borst, the 17-year-old girl from The Hague who died in the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 disaster, has written a letter to, among others, Russian president Vladimir Putin.

“Thank you very much, Mr Putin, separatist leaders, or Ukrainian government, for murdering my sweet and only child Elsemiek de Borst,” writes Hans de Borst. “She was 17, a gymnasium student at the Segbroek College in the Hague, and on her way to Malaysia for a vacation.”

Elsemiek was a passenger on board Thursday’s fateful flight to Kuala Lumpur, alongside her mother, stepfather and younger brother. “She was going to sit her final exams next year, along with her best friends Julia and Marina, and was doing well in school,” the letter says. “She wanted to study architectural engineering at the Delft University of Technology, she was tremendously looking forward to that! Suddenly she is no longer here! Blown out of the sky in a foreign country marred by war.”

“Gentleman mentioned above, I hope you are proud of how, among other things, you have blown away her young life, and that you will be able to face yourselves in the mirror tomorrow! I hope you will soon be able to read this message, perhaps translated into English (which you as intelligent men can read fine)” writes De Borst.

In closing the letter he writes: “Thanks again. Kind regards, Elsemiek’s father Hans de Borst, whose life has been ruined. P.S. Mr Putin: I hope your intense conversation with our polder PM Rutte opened your eyes!! I know you will be impressed and would find it really macho of you if you would initiate a Russian military guard for the disaster zone, so Dutch experts can investigate everything meticulously! Thanks in advance!”

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Disclaimer: Jo has no control over the contents of any linked sites or any changes or updates to them, nor does she accept liability for any damages incurred as a result of visiting sites linked to in this blog.

This particular blog entry was based on the Dutch article as published on 20 July 2014 at 10.48 (AM) CET; any changes made by or to the source after this date and time will not be reflected in this post.

If you are responsible for the original source referred to in this blog entry and object to your work having been linked here, please send a message in Dutch or English to clogwatch(at)yvaweb(dot)com.

Please note that Jo has no press affiliation or accreditation whatsoever.

Dutch police let off man planning to molest seven-year-old

Source: Volkskrant newspaper, the Netherlands, 03 January 2014

A man alleged to have sent a chat message planning the sexual abuse of a seven-year-old child was released without charge by police in the Dutch province of Gelderland. Although the man had been reported and was already known to police, officers did not seize his computer for further investigation.

The 59-year-old man’s teenage son stumbled upon the chat message on his father’s computer. He and his brother reported their dad to police in the summer of 2012. Reports by the Netherlands’ Child Protection Board and Youth Care Office obtained by the Volkskrant newspaper disclose previous allegations against the man for sexually abusing his own children.

The brothers, aged 17 and 19, are said to be doing very badly. This case appears to have been the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. The eldest is living in foster care and is not in education, while the youngest is being detained in a closed youth mental health facility. Both feel abandoned by everyone and aggrieved that their dad gets to rebuild his life in peace elsewhere.

Dominant paedo

In his chat message to an acquaintance, their dad writes: “Need quick favour. I’ve been in contact with ID … who says she is a paedo mom who wants to molest her seven-year-old son in a rough and kinky way.”

He asks the acquaintance to contact the foreign mother, because his English is not good enough. Later he writes: “If this is genuine we’ll have a superb opportunity to molest a little boy. I did tell her that the school would notice something. But she keeps saying: homeschool here. Some parents prefer to educate children at home. If that’s the case, the child’s direct contacts with the outside world are likely to be limited, which would of course make this a golden opportunity.”

Lack of evidence

Two weeks after he had been reported to Gelderland police, officers brought the man in for questioning and subsequently dropped the case. “Following interrogation the decision was made to close the investigation, because there was insufficient evidence of any specific intent to commit a crime,” a spokeswoman says. “The chat message does not state ‘we’ll go and do this and that to abuse a child, there and then.’”

The father did not have his computer taken away or searched, even though that might have provided more clues as to any clear danger facing the child. According to the police spokeswoman, the message reported to police was “shocking” and in legal terms serious enough to warrant confiscation of the PC. She is unable to explain exactly why no further action was taken. “In every case police assess the circumstances, and this is how things worked out this time. Had the circumstances been slightly different, then we might have seized his computer.”

Police have not disclosed what the accused told under interrogation, nor which aspect validated the conclusion that there was “no specific intent” to abuse. According to the Youth Care Office the man defends his chat message as an attempt to draw out and gather proof on the seven-year-old child’s mother, in order to expose her as a child molester.

Primary school

Since reporting him to police, the two brothers have broken off all contact with their father. He was working as a caretaker at a primary school, but lost his job as a result of this matter. He has moved to a different area of the country.The father’s relationship with his children had never been without difficulty. In 2000 the boys’ mother reported their dad to police for molesting her young sons (aged four and six at the time). Prior to that, his daughters from a previous relationship had also accused him of abuse.

The mother took her boys and fled. The vice squad detective who interviewed the children at a [child-friendly interview] studio at the time called the situation “worrying”, so says the dossier. The public prosecutor, however, found insufficient grounds to bring charges.

Arousal

Talking to the Child Protection Board, the father denied any abuse had taken place and explained that his infant sons’ sexually charged remarks might have originated from the boys having walked in while a porn film was playing in the living room, and also because they might have “seen some” of the sex between him and his wife. He also remarked that his eldest son, “as young as he is,” would sometimes get aroused when sitting on his mother’s lap.

The Child Protection Board deemed it “likely there had been borderline sexual abuse” and ruled in 2000 that the father would be denied access to his children for some time. Yet in 2008, when the boys went off the rails – both with their mother, who had learning difficulties, and in foster care – they were returned to their father’s care. Although there were still serious concerns about his behaviour, the Youth Care Office supported the father regaining full custody [of his sons], arguing he was “the best available educator.”

Disclaimer: Jo has no control over the contents of any linked sites or any changes or updates to them, nor does she accept liability for any damages incurred as a result of visiting sites linked to in this blog.

This particular blog entry was based on the Dutch article as published on 03 January 2014 at 09.30 (AM) CET; any changes made by or to the source after this date and time will not be reflected in this post.

If you are responsible for the original source referred to in this blog entry and object to your work having been linked here, please send a message in Dutch or English to clogwatch(at)yvaweb(dot)com.

Please note that Jo has no press affiliation or accreditation whatsoever.

Like this? Hire Jo or Make a donation

Reduced sentences for CCTV “breaching privacy”

Source: Dutch broadcaster NOS, Wednesday 28 August 2013

A Dutch court sentenced the main perpetrator in a brutal assault, Brent L., to ten months in a young offenders institute, four of which suspended. He was found guilty of attempted manslaughter. The Crown Prosecutor had wanted the judge to sentence L. to two years, six months of which suspended.

In total eight people had been caught on CCTV as having been involved in the assault on a 22-year-old man.

Brent L. and Tom K. were judged to have been the main instigators; the judge called their actions an “explosion of violence” but took into account that they had shown remorse for their actions. K. was sentenced to six months youth detention, three of which suspended. A third suspect, Stefano B., was acquitted because the judge ruled his involvement had been limited. Fourth suspect Brett S. had been involved but also shown remorse; the judge took this into account as a mitigating circumstance and sentenced him to two months in prison for violent disorder. Two further suspects were not prosecuted as they had not been actively involved in the attack, while two others are awaiting trial in Belgium, where they reside.

According to the judge, the sentences handed out were lower than the Crown Prosecutor had asked for, because CCTV images of the assault had been shown on TV and social media. The judge found this to have been a breach of the assailants’ privacy. As a result of this, they lost their jobs, were expelled from their places of education and had received threats.

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Dutch Prince Friso dead at 44

Source: Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst (Netherlands Government Information Service), the Netherlands, 12 August 2013

Prince Friso of the Netherlands passed away this morning at Royal Palace Huis ten Bosch in The Hague. He was 44.

His Royal Highness Prince Friso died from complications to the brain damage he sustained following a skiing accident in Lech, Austria, on 17 February 2012.

Following treatment in the intensive care unit of the Landeskrankenhaus in Innsbruck, the Prince had been transferred to the Wellington Hospital in London in March 2012.

Since November 2012 he had displayed minimal consciousness; his condition had since remained unchanged. In early July 2013 he was moved to the Royal Palace Huis ten Bosch in The Hague.

The Royal Family of the Netherlands this morning expressed their gratitude to all who cared for Prince Friso for their excellence and dedication.

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