Hundreds of Moroccans march in Amsterdam, Jan. 21, 2005, to mourn the death of a young man.
Amsterdam's district attorney has decided to prosecute the woman who, in 2005 _ when the country was turned upside down because of the Van Gogh murder _ chased down a 19-year-old Moroccan guy who stole her purse, and crushed him to death with her car.
The question of whether this was an accident is now for a court to decide.
There's a sad logic to how it all happened: can't we just imagine her seeing red over having some punk grab her purse? What was her day like up until then? What crimes had she been victim of in the past?
And who doesn't sympathize even more with the young man and his family _ he was in the bloom of his youth, probably at a turning point between whether he would get through his delinquent phase and become a productive member of society _ or a career criminal _ and he paid for a petty crime with his life.
They say there's no more traumatic experience a human can have than for a parent to lose a child of that age.
The Guardian version.
I wasn't out snatching purses when I was 19, but I was certainly no angel at age 17. Who knows how this guy would have turned out?
I don't understand the spinelessness of the prosecutors, who have basically said "we're going to charge her with everything from murder on down to reckless driving, and let the judge decide what the penalty is."
They are prosecutors. After two years of investigating, it's insane to just come out with this kind of blanket accusation. Either they think she's done something seriously wrong, or they don't and leave her alone. Choose.
What's unforgettable is the politicians who took advantage of the opportunity to yell from the rooftops that that this was Ali el Bejjati's "Eigen Schuld" _ meaning, his own fault. There were votes to be had that way, no doubt.
I tried contacting her lawyer for a comment, without success. I saw him quoted elsewhere saying that Germaine just wanted to rewind her life to the day before this all happened. I can imagine.
The 'kicker' to this story, by the way, is that after the incident, Germaine C. reportedly went to school to become a driving instructor.