Prosecutor drops case against 16-year-old tractor driver shot at by cops


The Public Prosecution Service (OM) has dropped the case against a 16-year-old boy arrested on Tuesday during a protest along the A32 highway near Heerenveen. During the protest, police fired warning shots and targeted shots, including one which struck the boy’s tractor.

The OM released the boy, Jouke, from custody on Wednesday, the prosecution said the following evening. Earlier Thursday, Jouke’s family said they were considering filing a report about the incident with the police.

“On the basis of a careful and, at the same time, rapid investigation, the Public Prosecution Service has come to the conclusion in retrospect that there is no cause for prosecuting this young man,” the OM said in a press release.

The investigation into two other people who were arrested during the protest on Tuesday, a 46-year-old man from the municipality of Opsterland and a 34-year-old man from the municipality of Heerenveen, is still ongoing. They are still considered criminal suspects. They were initially suspected of attempted manslaughter, but that was later revised. It is not clear what crime prosecutors think they may have committed.

The Public Prosecution Service reports that the investigation by the Rijksrecherche into the use of firearms is ongoing and is separate from the investigation into possible criminal behavior of the two remaining suspects. The Rijksrecherche is responsible for investigating incidents within different government organizations.

“The Public Prosecution Service cannot and should not prejudge the independent investigation of the Rijksrecherche,” the OM said.

Hours after the case against Jouke was dropped, activist farmers blocked the A7 highway at Tijnje in Friesland, Rijkswaterstaat reported. All lanes were closed in the direction of Drachten.

There was also a roadside fire at the location. Rijkswaterstaat advised road users to adjust their speed and take into account limited visibility due to the smoke from the fire,


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