View Full Version : Death of Purse Snatcher In Netherlands

01-21-2005, 11:53 AM
Death of a petty criminal sparks new controversy in the Netherlands
Radio Nederland Wereldomroep | 1/21/05 | Carin Tiggeloven

An incident earlier this week in the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, has sparked new controversy as the victim of a petty crime faces charges of manslaughter for the death of one of the youths who robbed her.

A woman drives her car at a young man of Moroccan origin who's just stolen her bag, and he dies when the vehicle crushes him against a tree. This incident took place in the Dutch capital earlier this week and has sparked a new wave of controversy in the Netherlands, with people asking whether it was manslaughter or a tragic accident.

While friends of the youth, many of them also of Moroccan descent, say he was not at all aggressive and did not deserve to die this way, a number of politicians have come to the defence of the woman who was behind the wheel.

Incomprehensible "This is scandalous; the world's been turned upside down. They're turning a victim into a criminal, and vice versa," was the reaction from Dutch MP Geert Wilders, a controversial conservative politician who recently split from the liberal-conservative VVD party and now serves as an independent parliamentarian. He described it as "incomprehensible" that the woman whose bag was stolen is now to face prosecution for manslaughter. However, some Moroccans who knew the youth have been commemorating their friend and wondering: "where are those Dutch people now?" This comment refers to the public outpouring of shock and grief which followed the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh in November last year. He was murdered very close to the place where the youth died.

Understandably, the father of the youth was distraught after seeing the lifeless body of his son. Friends laid flowers and lit candles at the scene of the incident. One of them spoke about his friend:

'I know Ali very well. I don't have any more tears left to cry over the boy. The only thing I know is that he didn't deserve to die like this. People will watch the media and say, yes, he was a bag snatcher after all. But I know what he was like, I knew him. He was an ordinary boy, you could always talk to him, whether you were Dutch or not. He wasn't aggressive."

The incident itself On Monday evening, the woman in question was in her car, which was stationery at the time. Two youths came alongside on a motorised scooter, and one of them grabbed her handbag from inside the vehicle. They drove off on the scooter, but the woman put her car into reverse gear and pursued them. The car came to a halt, trapping one of the young men between the vehicle and a tree and killing him.

Intent? The main question in this case is whether the driver of the vehicle intended to kill the thief. The Public Prosecutor's office has since charged her with manslaughter on the basis of the risk she took. Public prosecutor Dop Kruimel clarifies the charge as follows:

"She has been charged with manslaughter. But you should see this 'manslaughter' as us suspecting that she took an unacceptable risk in driving her car so fast in reverse gear. In that context, she took the unacceptable risk that she might collide with that scooter - with the youths on it - and, thus, that the youth in question could be killed. That risk can be interpreted in legal terms as manslaughter."

The lawyer acting for the woman, Alexander van der Waal, claims she did not "see or notice" that she had collided with the scooter. Furthermore, there is nothing illegal about the woman having pursued the two robbers to get her bag back, or the fact that she may have meant to box them in with her car.

Crime or accident? However, the key question as far as the public prosecutor is concerned is whether she could have anticipated the outcome: the death of the youth. Killing someone by driving into them is, after all, a crime. Yet there is also the possibility of an extreme 'over-reaction' on the part of the woman, which could be used in her defence. The police may have described it as a 'tragic accident', but the public prosecutor clearly thinks differently.

Letters to the press and the comments of certain politicians appear to indicate that many in the Netherlands feel the situation has indeed been turned upside down, with so much attention and sympathy going towards the dead youth who was already facing charges in connection with another robbery.

Mayor speaks out While many acknowledge that his death was tragic, they also feel that things have gone too far. A number of ethnic minority organisations have even voiced criticism of certain sentiments within the groups they represent, saying that some Moroccans are using the incident as a way to vent their own frustrations.

Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen spoke to family and friends of the youth, and later commented that he could understand their grief. However, he added:

"I also think that this group needs to say that no secret should be made of the facts that the bag snatching took place and that this boy was no angel - and that's really putting it mildly. I understand that this is something they can do without so soon after his death, but I do think it's important to say it."National politicians have also been having their say, including Integration Minister Rita Verdonk: "If we, here in the Netherlands, just keep our hands off each other's belongings, and don't steal bags - as happened in this case - then that woman would simply have done her shopping and that boy would have been driving around on his scooter. I'm not arguing anyone's innocence - I'll wait for the opinion of the Public Prosecutor's office - but I do want to point out clearly that it is not the case that someone just drove up and consciously thought: there's someone I don't like, let me kill him with my car. As I see it, this is not a case of murder."

MP Geert Wilders has gone even further: "I think she is the victim, not the criminal."


01-21-2005, 12:22 PM
"I think she is the victim, not the criminal."
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I totally agree.


01-21-2005, 12:57 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
"I think she is the victim, not the criminal."
<hr /></blockquote>

I totally agree.

Q <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> Q,

You are obviously one of those politically incorrect Moroccan Bashers that seem to be swelling in numbers within the Dikes (not Dykes) or Holland... /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif</font color>

01-25-2005, 07:48 PM
while she may not be totally 'right', when you steal a purse or commit any crime against another like that, you open yourself up to the rage of the victim and anything that happens in the spur of the moment like that, well thats the chances you take and im not feeling sorry for you or looking to prosecute the original victim.

01-25-2005, 08:45 PM
But I know what he was like, I knew him. He was an ordinary boy, you could always talk to him, whether you were Dutch or not. He wasn't aggressive."
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The woman in question didn't know that. Besides, I don't call ordinary or non agressive snatching a hand bag from a woman. Unfortunate he died but the woman was the victum.


01-26-2005, 01:37 AM
He was only 19 but he already had a rap sheet as long as your arm. In fact, he had just recently been released from prison.

01-26-2005, 04:47 AM
The lady was peacefully and legally going about her business. The youth knowingly interrupted that process. The scorecard= Lady 1 Youth 0. I think the Netherlands legal system can figure this out.