21 Hells Angels facing trial in 2007
15 September 2006, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch public prosecution office plans to take at least 21 Hells Angels to court in a large-scale investigation into the motorcycle group.
15 September 2006
AMSTERDAM — The Dutch public prosecution office plans to take at least 21 Hells Angels to court in a large-scale investigation into the motorcycle group.
The prosecution has sent a 'concept text' to 21 Hells Angels listing what they are suspected of, a spokesman said on Friday.
The Angels are accused of membership of a criminal organsiation that set out to commit various offences ranging from blackmail to threats to trading in weapons and drugs.
Police and public prosecution officials launched the nation's largest ever operation against the Hells Angels last year.
Raids were conducted at six clubhouses across the country and 47 Angels and former Angels were arrested.
But in the three months following, all of the arrested suspects were released.
Amsterdam Court ruled that the prosecution had not put forward adequate arguments to warrant their continued remand.
However, police and prosecution officials continued investigations and the 26 Hells Angels who have not yet been sent a 'concept text' are still under suspicion, the spokesman said.
Inquiries into the alleged criminal activities of the Hells Angels have been carried out since 2003.
And in 2004, the brutal murder of three Hells Angels in Limburg, members of the Nomads gang, took place.
The prosecution placed every member of the Nomads 'chapter' on trial and demanded jail terms of up to 20 years against 12 Nomads in an appeal hearing last week.
The Nomads chapter was disbanded as a result of the investigation.
According to international experts, the Dutch Hells Angels, more specifically Amsterdam, play a leading role in Europe, also in a criminal sense.
Willem van B. was removed as 'president' of the Amsterdam chapter on claims he was linked to a plan by Willem Endstra to murder top criminal Willem Holleeder, a regular visitor to the Amsterdam clubhouse.
Investigations into those allegations are continuing.
Van B. is also one of the suspects in the investigation into the Angels as a criminal organisation.
Endstra was murdered in May 2004 and Holleeder was arrested at the end of January on suspicion of blackmail and other crimes.
The court case against the Hells Angels will take place next year.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Dutch news