Jelle van Buuren about the criminal trial of Gökmen Tanis from the tram attack in Utrecht
On 18 March 2019, Gökmen Tanis shot three people in a tram in Utrecht. He shot a fourth victim after exiting the tram on the 24 Oktoberplein. On 1 July, the criminal trial against Tanis started with presumably only one possible outcome: a life sentence.
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) thinks it has enough indications that Tanis planned his actions with a terrorist objective. According to the OM he has confessed to the alleged charges. The public prosecutor does not want to confirm whether Tanis has also explicitly stated that he started shooting because of a terrorist motive.
The impact on society
According to Jelle van Buuren, Assistant Professor of Terrorism and Political Violence at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University, it is important for society to know whether this was a terrorist act. ‘For society, terrorism is something different altogether. It is so much more invasive than a ‘regular murder’ that it causes a lot of commotion. Terrorism affects society and is aimed against society and, consequently, the legal judgment is also very important to society’.
You can read the full article (in Dutch) on BN DeStem.