Friends and family of murdered Dutch film-maker Theo Van Gogh have attended the first public hearing in the case today. The only suspect, 26-year-old Mohammed Bouyeri, faces charges of terrorism, murder, attempted murder, threatening politicians and possession of an illegal firearm. Van Gogh was shot and stabbed to death on a street in Amsterdam on November 2 last year.
A note impaled in his chest threatened Dutch politicians and vowed Islamic holy war or jihad against non-believers. Bouyeri was arrested in a shoot-out with police, minutes after Van Gogh’s body was found. The director had criticised the treatment of women under Islam in a recent film, Submission. The murder threw the country into turmoil and resulted in a slew of attacks on Islamic schools and mosques.
It also pushed the government into instituting far-reaching anti-terrorism laws. Prosecutors were expected to review evidence and charges against Bouyeri and judges will discuss a possible trial date.