THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – The confessed killer of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh can no longer contest his life sentence, following the lapsing on Tuesday of the legal two-week period in which he could have lodged an appeal.
Mohammed Bouyeri, a 27-year-old Dutch Muslim of Moroccan origin, admitted murdering van Gogh on Nov. 2 on a downtown street in the capital, Amsterdam. He shot and stabbed van Gogh to death, then thrust a second knife into his chest with a letter that threatened the nation and prominent politicians with attacks.
Bouyeri, who did not defend himself in court and refused to recognize the Dutch legal system, was given the toughest punishment under Dutch law and will die in prison unless granted a royal pardon.
State broadcaster NOS on Tuesday decided to air a complete audio recording of Bouyeri’s confession for the first time, saying it could no longer impact on the fairness of the legal proceedings.
In the surprise, 10-minute courtroom statement, Bouyeri told van Gogh’s mother on the final day of his trial: “I don’t feel your pain.” He said that if he was released he would do it all again.
The murder stunned the Netherlands, triggering a string of attacks on Islamic schools and mosques and raising concerns about homegrown Islamic terrorism here and elsewhere in Europe.
Aug. 9, 2005