Netherlands

Again demanded for life against Willem Holleeder

According to the Public Prosecution Service, there is sufficient evidence in the extensive criminal file that Holleeder, whether or not together with others, was responsible for the murder of Cor van Hout (2003), Willem Endstra (2004), John Mieremet (2005), Cees Houtman (2005 ) and Thomas van der Bijl (2006). In the murder of Van Hout, a man with whom he had an appointment was also killed. A business partner was also seriously injured in the murder of Endstra. The Public Prosecution Service also considers Holleeder responsible for this.

Life in the first instance

The court in Amsterdam sentenced Holleeder to life imprisonment on 4 July 2019. He appealed against that verdict, because he claims to be innocent. The defense accused the court of being more or less convinced of the suspect’s guilt during the trial. The defense also states that the Public Prosecution Service and the court have not looked carefully at other scenarios. According to Holleeder, this would show that he is not guilty of ordering the murders, but that others have provoked these crimes.

Appreciation proof

Also on appeal, it mainly concerns the valuation of the evidence present. After all, the indictment and the verdict of the court are mainly based on statements of witnesses; there is no technical proof like DNA.

During the appeal hearing, which lasted more than forty days, 27 witnesses were heard. The statements of Holleeder’s sisters and conversations with Holleeder recorded by them were also used again. The OM also derives evidence from his ex-girlfriend, two key witnesses, two anonymous threatened witnesses and Endstra’s conversations with the Criminal Intelligence Unit of the Amsterdam police.

In the two-day inquest, the Public Prosecution Service explained in detail why the Court can believe those statements and conversations.

Adjust, rotate and shut up

The Public Prosecution Service believes that the statements made against Holleeder are credible, reinforce each other and find support in other evidence. Those statements rule out other scenarios. It is not plausible that the incriminating witnesses had an interest in lying. On the other hand, there is the question of to what extent Holleeder’s statements can be believed. The AGs have explained that he has sometimes modified his statements at will to reflect new findings. They also indicate that they find it remarkable how he turned in his story if that suited him better. In addition, Holleeder has invoked his right to remain silent on not unimportant points. According to the Public Prosecution Service, the statements he made are therefore not credible and unverifiable.

The Public Prosecution Service sees Holleeder as a master schemer who only thinks of himself. “His motives were no doubt in the sphere of lust for power, envy and the pursuit of money,” the prosecutors say in their indictment.

No bias

Contrary to the defence, the Public Prosecution Service is of the opinion that the court was certainly not biased. In an analysis of the verdict, the AGs state that the court paid sufficient attention to the positions and defenses of the defence, but that it has come to a different assessment with reasons.

Master Intriguer and Private Judge

The Public Prosecution Service sees Holleeder as a master schemer who only thinks of himself. “His motives were no doubt in the sphere of lust for power, envy and the pursuit of money,” the prosecutors say in their indictment.

According to the AGs, no person has the right to dispose of the life of another as they please, not even in the criminal environment. “Yet that is what Holleeder has done with his co-perpetrators. He has played in front of his own judge.”, according to the AGs.

Even though there were suspicions – or was even established – that some victims at the beginning of this century played a part in a sinister game for money, prestige and power in the Amsterdam underworld, they did not deserve to be murdered. “By having them removed, the suspect caused a great deal, very extensive and irreparable damage.”

Lifetime

The AGs agree with the court that only a life sentence is in order. “The suspect has repeatedly inflicted irreparable suffering, which must be responded to appropriately and proportionately.”

In addition, the punishment to be imposed should deter others: “Anyone who commits a murder is punished with a very long custodial sentence. Anyone guilty of multiple murders places themselves outside society.”

The lawyers will give their plea on 2 and 3 December. In January there will be a final response back and forth, plus the suspect’s last word. The court will rule in this case on June 24, 2022.

Again demanded for life against Willem Holleeder
Source link Again demanded for life against Willem Holleeder

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