Dutch man charged with the attempted manslaughter of a Jewish father and son claims he forgot why he stabbed them, JTA reported on Friday.
During the first hearing in the case, the victims asked the judge to consider a religious or racist motive, which currently is not included in the incitement.
Taha Ewis Bakri Abdel Ghani did not deny the assaults, which took place this past March, on Martin Colmans and his son Sharon, vendors in the Albert Cuyp Market.
The accused worked in a shop on the market and had had several disputes in the past with the Colmans and others, who complained to authorities about violence on his part.
At Thursday’s hearing, a lawyer for Ewis Bakri Abdel Ghani presented psychiatric evaluations to the Amsterdam criminal tribunal declaring him mentally unfit to stand trial for his actions, according to a report by the AT5 television station.
Along with the manslaughter charges for the stabbing of Colmans and his son Sharon, Ewis Bakri Abdel Ghani is charged with assault against Colmans’ wife.
“I don’t know what happened. It’s not a period of my life I want to remember,” Ewis Bakri Abdel Ghani was quoted as having said at the hearing.
Ewis Bakri Abdel Ghani had become more devout in his Muslim faith in the months leading up to the assault, during which he flew frequently to Egypt, the Colmanses said. He began praying outside his shop, reading the Quran and leering at them, they said.
Esther Voet, editor in chief of the NIW Jewish weekly, who attended the hearing, wrote that the defendant wouldn’t answer when asked whether the attack was anti-Semitic, replying only that his “brother-in-law is a judge.”
Much like other countries in Europe, the Netherlands has not been immune from anti-Semitic incidents.
In February, vandals suspected of being soccer hooligans from The Hague painted graffiti, including swastikas and anti-Semitic texts, on buildings in Amsterdam.
Last summer, Dutch police apprehended a man whom they accused of drawing swastikas on the external wall of the capital’s oldest Jewish cemetery.
In January of 2018, police launched an investigation into vandalism at a synagogue and a hospice for people dying of terminal diseases.
A month earlier, a Syrian man waving a Palestinian Arab flag shattered glass at a kosher restaurant in Amsterdam as two police officers and passers-by watched. The officers arrested the man after he broke into the restaurant through the door he had smashed and removed an Israeli flag.
The same restaurant was targeted again in early January of 2018, when vandals smashed the newly-replaced windows. The owners told local media that the restaurant is often the target of such destructive acts, and that they have asked local authorities' permission to place security cameras around the site.