Dutch court jails man over gunfire at Saudi embassy

The 41-year-old fired 29 gunshots last year after he was refused a visa to travel to Makkah to perform Haj



Screengrab from a video shows a board outside the Saudi Arabian Embassy, The Hague.
Screengrab from a video shows a board outside the Saudi Arabian Embassy, The Hague.

By AP

Published: Fri 24 Dec 2021, 7:50 PM

A Dutch court on Friday ordered a four-year prison sentence for a 41-year-old man convicted of attempted murder for firing gunshots at the Saudi Arabian embassy in The Hague last year after he was refused a visa to travel to the holy city of Makkah.

The man, whose identity was not released in line with Dutch privacy rules, used an automatic weapon to fire 29 shots into the embassy building in the early morning hours of November 12, 2020, his 40th birthday. Nobody was hurt.

According to prosecutors, the defendant was desperate to go on a Haj pilgrimage.

A security guard was present at the time of the attack. The court found the man guilty of attempted murder, as he was aware that the building was guarded, even during hours when the embassy was closed.

Prosecutors had also charged him with committing a terrorist act and asked for a 10-year sentence, but the court said there was no evidence he was trying to scare the Dutch population.

The attack left the embassy riddled with bullet holes. The suspect had previously been fined for defacing the building.


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