Placerdam – The Court of Appeal in The Hague ruled on Friday, October 28, 2022, not to sentence two men accused of committing acts of violence against two residents of Placerdam in Dam Square in Placerdam, on appeal. The court ruled in the ruling that the men acted outside the state of emergency. Two weeks ago, the Public Prosecution Office demanded a hundred days’ imprisonment against Abdul Ghafoor Elbeid of Papendrecht and 200 hours of community service against the other defendant Romano A of Dordrecht.
Abd al-Ghaffour and Romano were accused of aggravated assault in Placerdam. The attack took place on the night of Friday 18 to Saturday 19 May 2018 in Dam Square in Placerdam. Two men, aged 20 and 43, from Plasserdam at the time, were seriously injured. Both suffer from broken noses. Someone had to be surgically corrected. The 43-year-old also suffered a concussion and multiple fractures to his jaws, cheekbones and eye sockets. The latter is even rendered unable to work as a result of the violence, can never work again and has lifelong injuries, including the tear duct near the eye.
LB is absent
The court acquitted the two men two years ago, but the Public Prosecution Office refused and appealed. This appeal was heard in the Court of Appeal in The Hague. Only Romano was present during the objective treatment. Abdul Ghafour was not there. He is under pretrial detention in connection with a fatal traffic accident and is in poor condition. He is, without exaggeration, burdened with it and for this reason he does not appear today. LP’s lawyer said it didn’t work out today.
Romano, 24, was allowed to tell his story in court. He and the other accused had gone to The Abbey that night. The two victims are from Het and the son of Van Alplacerdam. We walked to our car. Then three men arrived. They were screaming and screaming. They called, among other things, Moroccan cancer and Moroccan torment. We wondered why they were swearing so much. We were just in a cheerful mood. One of the men got down violently, threw his bike to the ground and that was when I started ‘ said a resident of Dordrecht.
According to the defendants, the two victims in the case had sought to confront themselves, with Romano eventually being forced to deliver a few powerful blows. After one of the victims stood up and was said to be aggressive again, they were beaten again. The suspects then headed to McDonald’s, where the police eventually arrested them.
Under the effect of
The victims were completely under the influence of alcohol and at first could not talk much about the fight and the alleged abuse. Only one of the men found out how severe the infection was in the morning, when he was already at home. The surgery took 9 hours to slightly restore the man’s face.
According to Romano, Abd al-Ghaffour did nothing that evening and was the peacemaker. Abdul Ghafoor says he did something, but it was just a push and a “low kick” in the leg.
I was also shocked by the injury
Romano also told the court that he was shocked by the resulting injury. “I didn’t hit so hard to reshape his face, but to keep him away. It was a defensive reaction, as I wasn’t aware how hard I hit, because I’d never hit anyone before. I’m sorry it was so hard, but on the other hand, They started the whole fight. So it seems a bit duplicitous.”
The Attorney General (representing justice in the Court of Appeal, ed.) noted that both suspects were unharmed. “There was a beating, but I avoided the hits,” Romano explained.
Mediation is not an option
During the hearing, the court judge hinted a little that it might lead to a successful acquittal or an emergency defense appeal. So he tried to bring the victims and suspects together in the form of mediation. All those present were sent to the lobby to determine if they would see anything in the form of mediation, which could provide the victims with a portion of the compensation claimed. But after some deliberation, all parties came to the conclusion that they see nothing in the mediation. The suspects did not, because they found the amounts claimed too high and because they believed that severe weather should be the only solution, nor did the victims see any point in doing so, because they believed that a conviction should be issued, including compensation. .
The man who suffered the most injuries in the fight received a victim statement that was read out during a hearing. “The injury was so serious that he had to go to the hospital in Utrecht and have a 9-hour operation, during which an incision was made above his head, so that all the fractures in his head were fixed with screws and plates. It was a very difficult journey full of grief and pain.”
A relative of the victim read on behalf of the victim and said, “It has been four years and five months since I was beaten by two young men in the middle of the Placerdam. This had a huge impact on my life. To this day I still suffer from physical complaints, such as headaches, concentration problems, fatigue, dizziness, ringing in the ears, nerve pain, chronic tearing of the eye. I also have a permanent scar on my head. I can no longer do my job. I have now been declared unfit for work, which has reduced my income.”
Moreover, victims suffer from prolonged and frustrating criminal proceedings. The fact that the case was only brought before a police judge for the first time 2.5 years later which was followed by an eventual acquittal, seemed like a step after them.
Witness testimonies added after more than two years
In addition, major question marks were raised about the witness statements that could have been added to the file only two and a half years later. The defendant’s lawyer added these statements to the file. This is very strange to me, because the truth was already 2.5 years ago. At that time, the police issued an urgent appeal in the media for witnesses to come forward. There was no response from these witnesses at the time. The statements that are now added have not been verified for reliability at all. Neither the police nor the investigating judge heard witnesses. It seems to me that these statements should be excluded from the evidence, because they are not reliable.”
b. He denied to the police that he was involved in the assault. He later told the police that a fight had already started. In the victim’s statement, a family member said: “He contributed to the violence with a low shove and kick. This does not match the statement of the other defendant Romano, who stated to the police that LB could have been a peacemaker that night and would have done nothing.”
There is no harsh weather
The victim cannot imagine that racist comments were made, because he has many immigrant friends. Both victims do not fully remember what happened. On the one hand because they were under the influence of alcohol and on the other because of the resulting injury. According to the victims, there could be no harsh atmosphere, because the suspects could have ignored the comments and continued. There was no need to defend. Everything happened in an open space on the street. Moreover, we did not cause any injuries to the suspects from us. So they could have chosen to walk away.”
According to the victims, several witnesses reported that the suspects began beating. And if the suspects believed there were offensive comments, they could choose to ignore the comments and continue. Especially considering the fact that LB has already been convicted of public violence. In his own words, El B. chose to address us. The initiative to appeal came from him. The suspects did not have to defend themselves. There was no need to defend. They had every choice to avoid confrontation. They were in an open place on the street, they could go in all directions and were stronger and faster than us. We were drunk and unsteady on our feet.”
I killed two women
The victim’s statement concluded, “Disproportionate force was rightly used against us, while they themselves did not suffer any injuries. In the previous hearing, LB’s attorney said the suspect would not have used violence, as he would have learned from his previous conviction for acts of violence.” Public Suspect LB is currently suspected of manslaughter, because on May 6 this year he killed two women, aged 18 and 19, while significantly exceeding the speed limit and running a red light. 52 fines for traffic violations over the past four years. And so I doubt he is learning from previous convictions. I hope justice will finally be served after 4.5 years.”
This goes too far…
Commenting on the fatal collision, LB’s attorney thought it had gone too far. Attorney Anika Heda said: “I don’t usually do this, but I still want to make a quick comment on the victim’s statement. I understand it’s an unlimited right to speak, but I think it goes too far in another case, where Mr. LB is involved, who He’s still on trial, where he’s a suspect and where it’s not yet his guilt. To make this happen. So I beg you not to heed it.”
The victim, who sustained the most injuries, claimed 15,562 euros in compensation. This includes care costs, clothing and non-pecuniary damages.
The attorney general in the public prosecutor’s office eventually demanded 200 hours of community service against Romano. Initially I would ask for 240 hours, but because the issue has been going on for some time and this is unfortunate, I am asking for 200 hour community service. With El B. I take seriously the fact that he has previously been convicted of open acts of violence. I demand a 100-day prison sentence against him. Serious injuries occurred and violence actually erupted from A. and LB. That evening. Severe weather does not apply here, because there was an alternative. The suspects managed to escape.”
Lawyers for the two suspects stated that it was an emergency situation in which the victims themselves began to insult. “The violence they used was necessary. This is a written example of an emergency weather situation. All requirements are met.”
Romano’s lawyer also stated that it cannot be ruled out that the victim who sustained the most injuries fell off his bike on his way home and hit the pavement with his head. “Innocence is in order here.”
LB’s lawyer once again emphasized that LB’s role in the entire file was small. “He just pushed and kicked. Those actions were aimed at the attack wave.”
In his final speech, Romano said: “I apologize once again to the gentlemen behind me. It was not my choice to inflict a real injury. My sincerest apologies. I am truly sorry.”
The court issued a ruling on Friday and made a substantiated statement, but concluded that the weather emergency appeal was successful. So men are not punished. Hence, the claims for compensation were also dismissed.
The Public Prosecution has two weeks to appeal the ruling. If not, the judgment is final.