Defence lawyer to testify in leak case

12th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

12 May 2006, AMSTERDAM — For the first time a Dutch court has ordered a lawyer to testify in a criminal case involving his own client.

12 May 2006

AMSTERDAM — For the first time a Dutch court has ordered a lawyer to testify in a criminal case involving his own client.

A court in Amsterdam ruled on Friday that defence lawyer Nico Meijering must give evidence in the case of ex-police officer Hans van E., 49, who is suspected of leaking sensitive police information.

Pressing for questioning of the lawyer at an earlier hearing, a prosecutor suggested Meijering may be "too close" to the case. He is not seen as a suspect but the authorities think he could be an important witness.

A magistrate will conduct the hearing of Meijering's evidence in private. The lawyer can be accompanied by a senior figure of the Netherlands Bar Association.

This gives rise to the possibility the investigating judge may insist Meijering has to answer a certain quest, while his adviser disagrees. Meijering could potentially face being placed in custody until he agrees to answer.

His office colleague Leon van Kleef said it was a pity the questioning will not take place in open court "so that everyone hears what Meijering does or does not say". Van Kleef predicted the ruling could have consequences for other cases. "You can see it becoming all the rage," he said.

This is the reference to the case concerning reputed gang boss Willem Holleeder and six other men suspected of extorting money from leading business figures. The prosecution in that case has indicated an interest in hearing testimony from Holleeder's lawyer Bram Moszkowicz.

Moszkowicz, who was present in court to hear the ruling on Meijering, said he would attend an examination if required but he would remain silent.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject; Dutch news

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