Netherlands: Utrecht shooter confesses to judge

Suspect charged with terrorist homicides after shooting three dead Monday in a tram in Utrecht, the Netherlands, Friday confessed to his crimes during his first appearance before the judge, the prosecution said .

“The 37-year-old suspect confessed this morning [Friday] to the investigating judge the criminal offenses that had been brought against him,” the prosecutor said in a statement, adding that the suspect said he had “acted alone “.

The shooting left three dead and seven wounded, three of whom were seriously injured. The deceased are a 19-year-old woman and two men aged 28 and 49, all from the province of Utrecht.

Gokmen Tanis, born in Turkey, already known to the Dutch courts for robbery and rape, was arrested on Monday after an eight-hour manhunt. A firearm was seized during his arrest.

The prosecutor’s office did not provide further information on the suspect’s statements – placed in pre-trial detention – before the judge “in order to protect the interests of the investigation”.

A second suspect, a 40-year-old man arrested on Tuesday, was released. He was interrogated by the investigators to determine if he could play a supporting role outside the shooting.

“This man was arrested on Tuesday because the 37-year-old suspect was arrested at his home. In recent days, a thorough investigation has been conducted to determine whether the man had participated in the shootings or whether he had helped. ”

“No evidence has been brought and the man is no longer a suspect,” he added.

A silent march will be held on Friday night in Utrecht to honor the victims of the killings, in the presence of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Justice and Security Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus.

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