21 March 2012

Day 80 – The interrogation continues

Day 80 – The interrogation continues

Court Report day 80, 19 March 2012

The judge continued his interrogation of the the accused who had made a confession on 29 February. The judge went through the entire chain of events, from the time the accused gathered on the dhow Hudhud to them being captured by the Dutch navy.

Several times the defendant said that he didn't want to answer the question, but the judge pretended to not have understood what he had said and asked the same question again, sometimes three or four times, until he had the answer he wanted. At times it seemed that the judge was using the defendant as a sparring partner to perfect his interrogation technique.

With his statements, the defendant continued to indict the other accused.

Towards the end of the long day, the judge read out the German translation of the letter the defendant had sent to him. Here is a small section of it:
I have decided to help the court. The court and the state have been led astray. I want to tell the truth. The truth will achieve justice. [addressed at the judges and the jury] I am convinced that you are doing an honest job.
The reason why I haven't made a statement earlier was that my family had been in difficulties due to the statement I had made visa-vis the Dutch.
The judge then asked more questions regarding the letter. At the very end, the accused said he wanted to clarify one last thing: that his pistol had been loaded.

To appreciate the significance of this statement, one has to recall that he had declared in his statement on 29 February, that his pistol (unlike everyone else's guns) had not been loaded and upon being questioned by the judge had said that he did not have ammunition for the pistol.

The judge will continue to question the accused for another hour or so at the next court date, Friday, 23 March (8 am start). After that the prosecution might ask questions and then the other defence lawyers.