Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Ahmed al-J





18 months

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Judicially Exonerated

Summary of Case:

"Ahmed al-J was wrongly convicted in 2006 of arson for a fire in 2005 that was believed to have started in his detention center cell in Haarlem, Netherlands that killed 11 would-be immigrants. He admitted smoking a cigarette and extinguishing it before he went to sleep and woke up to find a fire going. The trial court denied his lawyer's request to appoint a fire expert to determine the statistical chance that a cigarette could have started the fire. In 2009 the appeals court affirmed al-J's conviction, but reduced his sentence to 18 months. He was deported to his home country of Libya since he had served his sentence. In December 2010 the Supreme Court of the Netherlands quashed Ahmed al-J's conviction on the basis the trial court prejudicially erred by refusing to appoint a fire expert to determine the probability of whether al-J's cigarette butt could have started the fire."

Conviction Caused By:

Innocence Proved By:

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands quashed Ahmed al-J's conviction in December 2010.

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Was Perpetrator Identified?

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Information Source 1:

"Supreme Court orders Schiphol fire retrial, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, December 14, 2010"

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Information Source 2:

"Advocate general - quash Schiphol fire conviction, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, November 5, 2010"

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Innocents Database Created and Maintained by Hans Sherrer innocents@forejustice.org

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