In March of 2019 four people were shot and killed and six others wounded in a terrorist attack on a tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht by a Turk named Gökmen Tanis, who confessed to the crime. Mr. Tanis’ legal proceedings began last July, and are just now concluding.
The most significant sentence in the report below is this: “[I]t was not that Gökmen T. wanted to kill as many victims as possible, rather to kill as many non-Muslims as possible.”
Danger of Recidivism Sky High
Prosecutor demands life imprisonment for Gökmen T.
by Saskia Belleman
March 5, 2020
Utrecht: Life imprisonment. According to the public prosecutor, that is the only suitable punishment for tram shooter Gökmen T., who, on March 18, 2019 last year shot four people to death and seriously wounded seven others during and after a bloody attack on an Utrecht tram.
“A deadly dangerous man, for whom the risk of recidivism is sky high,” the officers state. The demand was issued Thursday evening after a long hearing day that was again marked by more incidents, such as an attempt by the legal adviser for a victim to challenge the court.
Gökmen was only allowed to attend the prosecutor’s closing statement in the hearing room during the afternoon. The court decided Tuesday night after T. shamelessly insulted a victim, who had been seriously wounded. He had to hear and see the other victims on a TV screen in another room.
In the hearing room, it could be seen via the video monitor how he seemed to fall asleep during the attempted challenge. His head fell to one side, his body slumped deep in his chair. He occasionally woke up.
During the closing statement by the prosecutor he showed hardly any interest. He constantly and audibly tapped his index finger against the table top, or kicked with his foot against the table leg.
Gökmen behaved rudely and aggressively not only during the trial but also during interrogations. For example, he refused to talk to his interrogators. He wanted no contact with “errand boys”, and said he only wanted to talk to the King or Queen. He spoke a little more with the examining magistrate. He said he was not a suspect, “because I have confessed.”
He also held entire exchanges about Dutch soldiers and the Dutch government, which would kill Muslims worldwide. He wants to take revenge for this, “as long as this hand and this arm live.” Gökmen T. would not let his faith be mocked, he said.
Death of non-Muslims
According to the public prosecutor, it was not that Gökmen T. wanted to kill as many victims as possible, rather to kill as many non-Muslims as possible. According to behavioral experts, he himself is not a committed Muslim. He has a Koran in his cell and doesn’t want to be disturbed at prayer time, but he only went a week without smoking. He will not shake hands with women, but let his head rest on the shoulder of a group leader in the Pieter Baan Center during a relaxed moment. His own family called him, “a part-time Muslim”.
His acts came not so much from religious conviction, as much as frustration from a failed life. Religion offered him a new identity through which he still tried to get a grip on his life, said the experts.
Gökmen T. is thought to be weak-minded, narcissistic, lacking empathy, aggressive, suffers from a superiority complex, is egocentric, and becomes quickly angry when he gets the feeling that people don’t take him seriously. The experts found him to be of diminished responsibility.