In 2002, the CPP-NPA was included by the U.S. Department of State in its list of “foreign terrorist organizations”. Sison was also listed as a “foreign terrorist”. The Dutch government listed the CPP-NPA and Sison in its own terror list a day after the US listing.
According to Jan Fermon, one of Sison’s lawyers, the Dutch Foreign Ministry admitted in its website that the inclusion of the CPP-NPA and Sison in its list of terrorists was done to comply with the request of the US government. It likewise stated that 150 Dutch companies have investments in the Philippines and that Holland is one of the major investors now in the country. It added that the only burden in the relationship between Holland and the Philippines is the presence of what they called the communist leadership in Utrecht.
The Netherlands is at present one of the leading US allies in Europe – next only to the United Kingdom.
The Council of the European Union followed suit in listing Sison as a “terrorist” later that year.
On May 29, 2007, the Council of the European Union decided to retain Sison in its “terrorist” list. This decision was annulled by the July 11 verdict of the European Court of First Instance (ECFI).
On Aug. 28 that same year, Sison was arrested by Dutch police in Utrecht for allegedly ordering the murders of Kintanar and Tabara in 2003 and 2004, respectively – an accusation he has denied. His apartment, the homes of a few other NDFP negotiators, and the NDFP International Office were raided and several important items like computers, hard disks, and files related to the NDFP’s peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) were taken.
The CPP-NPA leadership in the Philippines has owned up to the killings of both Kintanar and Tabara, citing them for “crimes against the Revolution”.
On Sept. 13, 2007, the District Court of The Hague ordered Sison’s release due to lack of direct and sufficient evidence against him.
On Jan. 18 the next year, however, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service announced that it would continue its investigation of Sison’s alleged involvement in the killings of Kintanar and Tabara.
Last week, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service finally dismissed the charges against him for “insufficient legal and convincing evidence”.
In a press statement released after the dismissal of the charges, Sison called on the Dutch government to prosecute those who were involved in assassination attempts against him from 1999 to 2001. He also said he and his lawyers are considering further legal action against the Dutch government.
His thoughts on this and other related issues and developments are made known in this interview with Bulatlat. Following is the full text of the interview:
How did the charge of inciting murder affect you and your work, both as NDFP chief political consultant and as ILPS chairperson?
It took away time, attention and resources that I should have devoted to my work as NDFP chief political consultant and ILPS chairperson. I was detained for a while and vexed for a long while by the refusal of the prosecutor to heed the decision of the examining judge to terminate the investigation. I had to pay attention to my legal defense and had to have frequent consultations with my Dutch and Filipino lawyers. I was subjected to character assassination. I suffered moral and material damages. My wife Julie had to borrow money to pay for the costs of my legal defense.