The Hague: A young Dutchman who stormed national television studios armed with a fake gun and demanding airtime early this year was on Friday handed a two-and-half-year sentence.
Identified only as Tarik Z., the 20-year-old forced his way into the NOS public broadcaster`s building just before the 8 pm news broadcast on January 29, armed with a fake pistol and a threatening letter.
Minutes later he was overwhelmed by police and arrested as studio cameras picked up the dramatic events.
"The court finds the man guilty of hostage taking, and claiming to have a weapon at the NOS`s building," said the Central Netherlands district court in the city of Lelystad.
"His actions led to fear and anxiety from victims at the NOS building and the broader community," the court said in a statement.
Prosecutors initially asked for a four-year-sentence but the 20-year-old will now only effectively serve 15 months, the court said.
Tarik Z., whose last name was not given due to privacy rules in the Netherlands, had claimed when he entered the NOS headquarters in the city of Hilversum that he represented a hackers` collective.
He also claimed in a letter that he had planted explosives and that his group was poised to launch a major cyber attack in the Netherlands.
He later admitted to working alone and that there were in fact no explosives planted or any attack planned.
"In hindsight it was a totally amateurish attempt at violently forcing others to listen to his opinions," the court said.