Van Gogh killer presents religious defence in new trial

The convicted killer of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, in a three-hour address to a Dutch court, today said he felt “honoured” to be associated with al-Qaida, and offered no defence to charges he was part of terrorist group that planned attacks on Dutch politicians.

Mohammed Bouyeri, 27, is already serving a life sentence for Van Gogh’s 2004 murder, which Bouyeri said he carried out alone because he believed Van Gogh insulted Islam in his film criticising the treatment of Muslim women.

In the new trial in Amsterdam, Bouyeri insisted on presenting his own defence and was granted three hours to speak.

He faces no additional punishment since his previous sentence has no parole. But prosecutors felt his inclusion in the group would increase the chances other alleged members would be convicted.

Bouyeri said an attack on one Muslim was an attack on all, and that an attack on one non-Muslim in the name of Islam was a defence of all.

Prosecutors were to give their rebuttal to Bouyeri’s remarks on Monday.

A verdict in the case is expected on March 10.

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