Criminal trial of Hells Angels begins

29th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

29 October 2007, AMSTERDAM – The court in Amsterdam will start the criminal trial of 22 members of the Hell's Angels on Monday. Among them are the former president of the Amsterdam chapter, Wim van B., his successor Daniël U. and Harry S., another influential member of the Angels in Amsterdam. The public prosecution's most important charge against the motorcycle club is that the club is a criminal organisation. This carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison. "In addition members will also be prose

29 October 2007

AMSTERDAM – The court in Amsterdam will start the criminal trial of 22 members of the Hell's Angels on Monday. Among them are the former president of the Amsterdam chapter, Wim van B., his successor Daniël U. and Harry S., another influential member of the Angels in Amsterdam.
 
The public prosecution's most important charge against the motorcycle club is that the club is a criminal organisation. This carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison. "In addition members will also be prosecuted on individual charges, for illegal weapon possession, violence or drug possession," says press officer for the justice department Digna van Boetzelaer. 

The prosecutor does not expect these offences will drive up the sentences very much. There is not much evidence to establish a concrete connection between the suspected Angels and large weapon smuggling or drug cases.

"A prison sentence of just a few years may not be what people are expecting, but a conviction would be very significant. The Hell's Angels would notice that they are no longer untouchable," says Van Boetzelaer. The organisation and its activities will also face significant setbacks if the club members are behind bars, the spokesperson says.

In October 2005 police and justice officials launched their biggest action ever against the Hell's Angels as part of this case. Six club houses throughout the country were raided. 47 current and former club members were arrested.

All those arrested were released in the three months following the raids however. Still police and justice officials continued the investigation and the national prosecution office has deemed there is enough evidence to try the 22 suspects in criminal court.

The case is expected to last until the end of December.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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