The Sentencing of Jawed Sultani

A couple of weeks ago I reported on the sentencing of Jawed Sultani, the Afghan terrorist who severely wounded two American tourists last year at Amsterdam Central Railway Station. The following video is a news report about the resolution of the case.

The judge actually imposed a longer sentence on Mr. Sultani than the one recommended by the prosecution. However, the compensation of the victims ordered by the court will be paid by the Dutch taxpayer, since the defendant is not expected to develop new sources of income anytime soon.

Many thanks to C for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

00:00   The maximum punishment: 26 years and 8 months in a cell for Jawed S. [Sultani],
00:05   the man who, out of anger over Geert Wilders’ cartoon contest,
00:09   stabbed two American tourists at [Amsterdam] Central Station last summer.
00:14   The 20-year-old Afghan bought a knife, took the train to Amsterdam Central on August 31 of last year
00:20   and stabbed two random travellers there.
00:23   In addition to his punishment, he has to pay almost 3 million in compensation to the victims.
00:30   We now go to Mark Schrader, reporting from the court in Osdorp.
00:33   The punishment is higher than what the prosecutor asked for. How did the court reach its verdict?
00:41   The court is really quite clear, and states that society
00:44   should be protected as much as possible from this Jawed S.
00:48   So, for two attempted murders with terrorist intent, and three counts of threatening police officers,
00:54   such a strict verdict was reached, the maximum punishment you can impose
00:58   for such crimes in the Netherlands. The prosecutor’s office asked for a slightly lighter sentence,
01:02   but the court wanted to send a clear message,
01:05   because this was a terrorist attack. Jawed S. tried to scare the Dutch populace.
01:11   and attempted to force the government to take action against Geert Wilders, who
01:16   had organized a Mohammed cartoon drawing contest.
01:19   All this together was reason for the court to decide on such a high punishment.
01:23   Let’s listen to what the spokesperson says about this.
01:26   The seriousness of the crimes demands a high punishment.
01:31   but this man has not shown any remorse.
01:35   On the contrary, he says he’d do it again. Given that it is not possible to declare him insane.
01:41   the court says: the least we should do is protect society against this man.
01:46   I had hoped the court would have taken into account the possibility that my client,
01:53   his statements, that these were youthful bravado.
02:00   He has said that, if this situation presented itself again, he’d do it the same way.
02:06   It’s of course not clear this should be taken literally.
02:10   I didn’t see any “youthful bravado”. I saw a fanatic,
02:16   who happened to be young. But, no… no extenuating circumstances…
02:21   our society has to be protected against this man.
02:27   Can you imagine that the court does not see this as youthful bravado, but as a very dangerous person?
02:33   I can imagine… I understand why the court has reached this verdict.
02:37   but a different perspective would also have been possible.
02:40   The court could have taken into account the factors that I just mentioned.
02:43   The court did not do this. It took his words at face value.
02:46   He can’t be institutionalized for reasons of insanity, why not?
02:49   The suspect has to have a mental disorder.
02:52   experts tried to examine him, but he cooperated only partially.
02:58   They reached the conclusion it was not possible to determine whether he had a disorder.
03:03   The court looked into this and reached the same conclusion.
03:08   So the legal requirements were not met, so he can’t be institutionalized.
03:13   Yes Mark, a long prison sentence, but the court also awarded a huge sum in damages.
03:20   That’s right, Jawed S. has to pay almost 3 million in damages
03:24   to both the American victims and their families and to the policemen involved.
03:29   That may sound like a large sum, and it is, but it’s not unique for the Netherlands;
03:33   such sums are awarded more often. Of course, Jawed S. will never be able to pay this.
03:39   That means the Dutch taxpayer will foot the bill.
03:43   The Dutch state will pay an advance to the victims,
03:48   then it will try to get money out of the convict.
03:55   That will probably never happen, of course, which means he’ll get another year in jail.
04:02   Mark, were you able to talk to anyone involved in this case today?
04:08   After the session I briefly talked to the lawyer for the American victims.
04:13   They were not present today; he did contact them today.
04:16   They are satisfied with the verdict, and they hope there won’t be an appeal.
04:21   We don’t know yet if that will happen. That’s up to the suspect; he has two weeks to decide.
04:27   I just talked briefly to one of the policemen who were involved, the
04:31   one who shot Jawed S. at Central Station.
04:36   He was present today. He said the three of them got together and talked about it.
04:41   They were happy with this verdict, also relieved,
04:45   especially because the court took into account that the policemen themselves were also threatened.
04:51   So it doesn’t restrict itself to the two attempted murders of the Americans.
04:55   As the policemen say, we can close this chapter now and continue working.
05:00   Thank you, Mark Schrader.