The heavily secured hall of the Rotterdam courthouse was filled to capacity during the initial public hearing in this case on Monday. Notably, the suspect in the Delfshaven and Erasmus MC shootings was absent, and his lawyer offered no explanation for the absence, nor could he guarantee the suspect’s presence during the substantive hearing.

Numerous surviving relatives and concerned parties attended the courtroom session. The judge, acknowledging potential distressing details, informed them: “If you wish to leave the room, we fully understand.”

Eight offences

During the preliminary hearing, the prosecutor outlined eight offences that Fouad L. is accused of. Primarily, these include the murders of his 14-year-old neighbour and her mother, as well as the killing of lecturer Jurgen Damen. Allegedly, he ‘fired multiple shots with a firearm’ at them.

Additionally, he is suspected of arson in his residence and at the Erasmus MC learning centre. “In doing so, he put individuals and property in a dangerous situation”, according to the prosecutor. Furthermore, the Public Prosecution Service alleges that he possessed three firearms and ammunition and threatened at least three individuals with a firearm or discharged it into the air.

Complicated assessment

Fouad L. initially admitted to the charges in the days following the events of 28 September but has since invoked his right to remain silent. Consequently, a complete signed statement is lacking, complicating the psychological assessment by the Pieter Baan Centre, scheduled to begin on 1 February. The trial is set to resume on 11 April.

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