'Big Willem' remanded in Hells Angels case
20 October 2005, AMSTERDAM — Disgraced bikers' leader 'Big Willem' van B. was remanded in custody for two weeks on Thursday as 32 Hells Angels appeared in court as part of major crime investigation.
20 October 2005
AMSTERDAM — Disgraced bikers' leader 'Big Willem' van B. was remanded in custody for two weeks on Thursday as 32 Hells Angels appeared in court as part of major crime investigation.
Van B., who was expelled in disgrace from the Hells Angels last year, will have to spend seven days in isolation. This means he will not be allowed any contact with the outside world or have visits from family and friends.
A court has already turned down an application from his lawyer Marcel van Gessel that police interviews with 'Big Willem' be videotaped. The lawyer said his client fears the police will intimidate him into making statements against his former comrades.
Police arrested 45 Hells Angels in early morning raids across the Netherlands on Monday as part of an investigation into series crimes including murder, intimidation, gun running and drug dealing.
Of those arrested, 32 were brought before the remand hearing on Thursday to extend their period of detention while the investigation continues.
'Big Willem' is suspected of involvement in a range of crimes, including murder or manslaughter and assault.
Van Gessel was presented on Thursday with a portion of the prosecution file assembled by the authorities against his client. The evidence was contained in a box and three large files.
"A large dossier," Van Gessel remarked. "There has been a lot of investigating". But he said he was not impressed because a lot of the material was old.
The Dutch National Detective Service detained up to a quarter of all Dutch Hells Angels in a series of coordinated raids on Monday morning.
Detectives, backed up by firearms units, carried out raids on Hells Angels clubhouses and homes in several Dutch cities.
Police seized a grenade launcher with ammunition, a flame-thrower, two hand grenades, a smoke grenade, a percussion cap, a submachine gun and 19 other guns. They also discovered EUR 70,000, six bunch of cannabis plants, and several expensive watches.
About 1,000 officers were involved and 64 locations were searched in the planned operation. Television footage of one of the raids showed officers with automatic weapons standing guard as a bulldozer knocked a hole in a fence around the Hells Angels property.
'Big Willem' was expelled from the Hells Angels last year because he had allegedly been offered EUR 1 million by property tycoon Willem Endstra to murder convicted Heineken kidnapper Willem Holleeder.
It was suggested that 'Big Willem' was to kill 'Angel friend' Holleeder by bombing the Angel's clubhouse in Amsterdam. No attack was carried out on Holleeder but Endstra was shot dead in Amsterdam in May 2004.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news