Angels reject crime as OM demands ban
16 January 2007, AMSTERDAM — The Hells Angels from the Northcoast chapter denied in Leeuwarden Court on Tuesday they formed a criminal organisation.
16 January 2007
AMSTERDAM — The Hells Angels from the Northcoast chapter denied in Leeuwarden Court on Tuesday they formed a criminal organisation.
"They don't approve of criminal behaviour, they emphatically reject it," the Hells Angels defence lawyer said, adding that the chapter could not be banned or disbanded.
The wholesale attempt by the public prosecution office (OM) to have the motorcycle club Hells Angels banned in the Netherlands started in the Leeuwarden Court on Tuesday.
The prosecution claims the club does not belong in society because its members are regularly involved in criminal activities.
According to the prosecution, the court case to have the Hells Angels banned is a unique. No other case has been put to court across the globe.
The Hells Angels has seven chapters in the Netherlands, namely Amsterdam, Haarlem, Alkmaar, IJmuiden, Rotterdam, Kampen and Harlingen (Northcoast).
But the defence lawyer said a ban would be a great breach of civil rights.
"A ban of a club can only occur in very exceptional cases," he said, adding that this was not such a case.
Leeuwarden Court will hand down its ruling in six weeks time.
The court cases to ban the other Hells Angels chapters will be heard in the heavily-secured Amsterdam-Osdorp court on 20, 22 and 23 February.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news