Five convicted of attacks on shops with Polish goods in Netherlands
A Dutch court on Friday sentenced five men to prison for planting explosives in supermarkets selling Polish products.
"It was brutal violence," said the judge of the court in the central town of Alkmar.
The attacks using improvised explosive devices took place in 2020-2021 in Aalsmeer, Heeswijk-Dinther, Beverwijk and Tilburg. The modus operandi was always the same: a shop window was broken, petrol cans were placed inside the building or under the facade, and then the explosive was remotely detonated.
Five defendants aged 21 to 28 appeared before the court on Friday. They were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 22 months to eight years. The longest sentence, eight years, was given to Serginio S., who was the coordinator of the attacks. The other perpetrators were sentenced to four, three and two years imprisonment. The youngest perpetrator, 21, will spend 22 months behind bars. The defendants will also have to pay compensation.
"The explosions were extremely dangerous for shop owners, and aroused a sense of danger in society," read the justification of the verdict provided to the media.
The prosecutor said that all the attacks were connected and carried out "professionally."
In the course of the investigation, the prosecutor's office repeatedly said there was no indication that the explosions were ethnically motivated and directed against Poles. There was speculation in the media that they were commissioned by competing market owners, but no evidence has been found so far.
None of the perpetrators revealed their motives nor the masterminds of the attacks. It is known, however, that the owners of supermarkets were mainly Kurds, the stores sold Polish products, and their customers were mainly Poles.