Jeshuron Z., a 26-year-old man from Groningen, is accused of providing weapons to two terror suspects in France.
Translation by Traci White
The defendant’s lawyer, Hein Heemskerk, told RTV Noord that his client had no connections with terrorist activities. Jeshuron will remain in remand for at least 30 more days, but Heemskerk says that the examining magistrate stated that there was no clear evidence that Jeshuron was involved with terrorists in any way.
Jeshuron came to the attention of the authorities when traces of his DNA were found on firearms in an IS hiding place in Argenteuil near Paris. Five machine guns and seven pistols were found in a locker inside an apartment belonging to terror suspect Reda Kriket. According to French authorities, the weapons were allegedly intended for use during an attack.
The weapons depot was discovered in March 2016, several days after the terror attacks in Brussels. During a follow up investigation, traces of DNA were found on several hand guns and the handle of a sports bag. The evidence was matched in a Dutch DNA database and eventually led back to Jeshuron in Groningen.
At the time of his arrest, Jeshuron was living in the city, but it is not clear how long he had been in the city at the time. The authorities have also been very tight lipped about revealing where in the city he was arrested. RTV Noord reports that he lived on the Wibenheerd in the Beijum neighbourhood when he was a kid, but it is not clear if that is the same area where he was detained last month.
Heemskerk says that Jeshuron has spent more time in Rotterdam in recent years than in Groningen, and confirmed that his client has a criminal record with several minor offences unrelated to dealing arms. His client also categorically denies any involvement in the weapons deals. Jeshuron is one of six suspects accused of providing ammunition and involvement in a criminal organisation with possible terrorist aims. The ammunition and arms links are being prosecuted as separate cases.
Jehsuron’s trial will take place in Rotterdam and will begin on 19 September.