Mild Sentence for Rotterdam Mayor's Terrorist Cousin - 12 November 2009

THE HAGUE - An appeal court in Amsterdam has found Lahbib Bachar and his wife Hanan Sarrokh guilty of terrorism. They received jail sentences of 104 and 74 days respectively, the same length as the time they already spent in custody.

Bachar is a second cousin to Ahmed Aboutaleb, the mayor of Rotterdam, a remarkable fact which however did not draw much media attention during the court case. He and his wife were found guilty of playing a supporting role in the group around terrorists Samir Azzouz and Noureddine el Fatmi, who are serving long prison sentences for preparing attacks on various Dutch politicians.

A district court in Rotterdam earlier sentenced the couple to three years in jail. The lower court said it would have sentenced them to between 8 and 10 years in jail if mitigating circumstances were not taken into account. The most important was that they acted as witnesses against Azzouz and El Fatmi (...)