06 April 2012

Court Report 05 April - Broken Windows

Day 81 – Court Report 05 April 2012

More retractions and more admissions, gun shot wounds that aren't any and a broken window.

Today, the interrogation of the accused who had made a full admission was wrapped up. Back in May, 2011 the defendant had presented a document issued by a court in Somalia. The document testified that his mother had lodged a complaint against two people, alleging that they had forced the defendant at gun point to participate in the attack on the Taipan. The judge wanted to know how he knew that the document was authentic. He answered that he believed so because his mother had sent it, however, his parents must have misunderstood – he had not been forced. When asked whether he had ever clarified this misunderstanding, he declined.

Then judge also wanted to know about two gunshot wounds in the legs that had been identified by the Dutch medical practitioner who had examined him. At first, the defendant said that he had received them on board the Taipan. When the judge expressed his astonishment, the defendant claimed that they weren't gun shot wounds at all and offered to be examined on the spot.

Then he told the court that he had boarded the dhow Hudhud earlier than what he had preciously told the court.

Then the nicknames that the defendant had given to the court at the previous hearing were matched against the address books of the cell phones that were seized. This involved the judge reading out endless rows of phone numbers.

After lunch it got more interesting again. The defendant had stated that he and the others had entered the bridge through a broken window. The prosecutor now wanted to know exactly which window was used. For this purpose a sketch of the bridge, as well as several photos from inside and outside the bridge were shown and the defendant was asked to point at the right window. This took a while but he finally pointed at a window with an oval hole in it, about half a metre wide and a metre tall, with glass all around it. It is the rightmost window on this photo. When this was established, another lawyer asked how the defendant had managed to get through the hole since it seemed rather small. However, the judge wasn't interested in this question. So the question which window was used is of utmost importance, but the question how the defendant managed to squeeze through a hole in the glass without getting injured is irrelevant. Sometimes it's hard to understand the justice system...

Finally, the judge stated that, if there were no more applications, the court could proceed to the closing statements. So an end could be in sight.

Next trial date: Monday, 16 April 2012, 8 am.