Amsterdam Hells Angels 'ordered' murders
1 February 2005, AMSTERDAM — The main witness in the trial of 15 Hells Angels charged with the murder of three clubmates identified the two men on Tuesday he claimed carried out the killings. He said the order came from the motorcycle club's Amsterdam headquarters.
1 February 2005
AMSTERDAM — The main witness in the trial of 15 Hells Angels charged with the murder of three clubmates identified the two men on Tuesday he claimed carried out the killings. He said the order came from the motorcycle club's Amsterdam headquarters.
The witness, Angelo D., 45, said the then president of the Amsterdam Hells Angels, "Big" Willem van Boxtel, knew about the murders. D. also said he was told the day after the funerals that the order to kill the three victims came from Amsterdam itself.
Van Boxtel was recently expelled as club president after allegedly admitting planning the murder of top criminal Willem Holleeder. Boxtel denies he accepted the EUR 1 million contract from property boss Willem Endstra, who was shot killed in Amsterdam last year. The "hit" on Holleeder was never carried out.
Tuesday's hearing was held in the Hall of Justice in Rotterdam after the trial was moved from Amsterdam to guarantee D.'s safety. But within 90 minutes of the judges, lawyers, the prosecutor, defendants and journalists leaving for a secret location on Tuesday, it was reported that the day's proceedings were to be heard in Rotterdam.
Monday's start to the trial — the first time that so many Hells Angels gang members were placed on trial at the same time — was held in the high-security Amsterdam-Osdorp courthouse.
Although it is nicknamed the "bunker", the building was considered insufficient to guarantee the safety of the hated main witness called to give evidence against his Hells Angels "brothers" and it was decided to continue the trial on Tuesday at a secret location.
Paul de Vries, the president of the Nomads chapter of the Hells Angels, and two fellow members, Serge Wagener and Cor Pijnenburg, were found shot dead in a stream near the southern Dutch town of Echt on 13 February last year. Their bodies were riddled with bullet wounds.
The defendants are accused of conspiring to kill the men after a botched cocaine deal. The murders are thought to have been carried out in the Oirsbeek clubhouse of the Hells Angels chapter and traces of blood from the three victims were found there despite an alleged cover-up renovation.
Star prosecution witness D. is a member of the Caribbean Brothers motorcycle gang in Curacao, a gang which is also affiliated to the Hells Angels. He was allegedly involved in the cocaine deal and also faces drugs charges.
The three victims were killed after allegedly stealing 300kg of cocaine. D. has accused the Nomads of carrying out the murders to ward off a conflict with Colombian drugs dealers who allegedly supplied the cocaine, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
He made a detailed police statement after he was allegedly kidnapped last year by two Nomads. The two gang members allegedly confessed the murders to D., who was rescued a short time later by police. But instead of being kidnapped, D. claims that he and a Curacao clubmate, John D., were simply interrogated by the two men.
He identified the two men in court on Tuesday as Marco H. and Jack S., claiming also that they were possibly responsible for the cocaine theft. He also said Wagener and Pijnenburg might not have been involved in the theft, but were killed to show the Colombians that the culprits had been dealt with.
The Antillean has also asserted in a previous police statement that the Nomads were linked to two cocaine smuggling routes between the Netherlands and Colombia, which in turn led to heated conflicts. A power struggle is also believed to have developed within the Nomads gang.
Despite being uncertain whether all the suspects were involved in the triple murder, D. believes the entire club would have had prior knowledge of the killings. He has also said the murder of one of the three victims might have been a mistake.
The public prosecutor has charged D. for his involvement in the alleged cocaine deal, but is negotiating a possible deal with justice officials in exchange for his testimony.
The court ordered the prosecutor on Monday to clarify the situation as quickly as possible. Should D. agree to reveal all he knows, it is possible he will be placed in the witness protection programme.
Meanwhile, two suspects Harry R. and Swen S., are also accused of a fourth murder. The body of alleged drug dealer Steven Chocolaad was found in the Julianakanaal in Limburg in May 2003. But the court ruled on Monday that the case was not linked to the triple murder and ordered it adjourned.
One of the 15 suspects was ill on Monday, but the remaining 14 suspects all attended the hearing. A force of 50 police and security officers were also in attendance. The trial is expected to take up to four weeks.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news