Court refuses to ban Endstra tapes
11 May 2006, AMSTERDAM — A court in Amsterdam refused on Thursday to order that the Endstra tapes book be withdrawn from the shops.
11 May 2006
AMSTERDAM — A court in Amsterdam refused on Thursday to order that the Endstra tapes book be withdrawn from the shops.
The book contains leaked transcripts of 15 secret talks property tycoon Willem Endstra had in an armour-plated car with members of the criminal investigation branch (CIE) of the Amsterdam police about reputed gangster Willem Holleeder. He claimed Holleeder was involved in extortion and numerous gangland murders.
Endstra was shot dead in 2004, leading to widespread speculation he was killed to silence him.
Holleeder has been in custody since January on suspicion he headed a gang that extorted money from several property dealers, including Endstra. The prosecution asked during a court during the first preliminary hearing of the case on Thursday for permission to submit the Endstra transcripts as evidence.
Endstra's sons took legal action against newspaper journalists, Bart Middelburg and Paul Vugts, as well as the publisher to force them to withdraw the book. The family is afraid of reprisals as the book gives detailed information about other people.
But the court decided the risk of reprisals was no greater as a result of the publication. In addition the sons were not mentioned during their father's discussions with the police.
Another telling factor was that portions of the Endstra tapes had already been published in the media. On balance the interests of the publisher and the journalists weighed heavier than the that of the family, the judge said.
"The conversations which Endstra had and the connection with criminal case against Willem Holleeder stands at the centre of society's interest. Furthermore the discussions give insight into the way the CIE dealt with Endstra," the judge said.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news