Asharq al-Awsat, Brussels- Dutch police detained the imam of a mosque in Eindhoven on Wednesday and handed him over to the immigration authorities in preparation for his extradition, according to the Dutch news agency.
The government in The Hague had decided in February to extradite the imam along with two others suspected of “driving Muslims in The Netherlands to extremism”.
The three imams appealed against the decision but one later decided to drop his appeal as he no longer wished to live in the country. In June, immigration Minister Rita Verdonk informed the men that they would have to await the outcome of their case outside of The Netherlands but this was later rejected by the courts.
Meanwhile, the legal representative of a Dutch-Moroccan who previously worked as a translator for the intelligence services asked the court to drop the charges. His client Othman is suspected of sharing secret information with members of a Dutch terrorist cell. If convicted, he faces up to six years behind bars.
The 35-year old proclaimed his innocence and said his 14-month detention was unwarranted. He claimed he was a victim of the security forces and said “the matter appears to be a political game.”
According to the Rotterdam general prosecutor, the translator had informed members of “Hofstad Network” that they were under surveillance by the security forces. Othman claims his low rank precluded him from knowing such matters.
“Hofstad Network” is thought to be an extremist groups to which Mohammad Bouyeri, a Dutch- Moroccan, convicted of killing Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, belonged.