Gun attack on Quote office

24th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

24 November 2003 , AMSTERDAM — The Amsterdam office of business magazine Quote — which publishes an annual list of the 500 richest Dutch people as well as investigative articles about alleged criminal business links — has been shot at by unknown culprits. The house of its publisher was also targeted.

24 November 2003

AMSTERDAM — The Amsterdam office of business magazine Quote — which publishes an annual list of the 500 richest Dutch people as well as investigative articles about alleged criminal business links — has been shot at by unknown culprits. The house of its publisher was also targeted.

Editor-in-chief Jort Kelder said 19 bullets were fired at the office on the Singel. The windows on the front of the building were hit, but no one was in the building at the time.

The Minervalaan house in Amsterdam owned by Quote publisher Maarten van den Biggelaar was fired at on Thursday night and a bullet — which Kelder said "flew through the window" — was found lodged in the ceiling of his son's bedroom on Friday morning. No one was injured.

Kelder said the incidents were definitely acts against Quote and labelled them "cowardly. The bullets are believed to have been .22 in calibre, an NOS news report said.

The Quote office is believed to have been shot at on Sunday night after journalists had finished up for the day. The bullet holes were noticed on Monday morning. "The editorial office is riddled with bullets," Van den Biggelaar said.

The reason behind the shooting is not yet known, but it is being speculated that the incident is linked to the publication of several articles about Freddie Heineken kidnapper Willem Holleeder and his relationship with real estate magnate Willem Endstra.

But Kelder has refused to comment: "It would be unwise to say things about this". Despite this, the chief editor said Quote sought to stay within the boundaries of journalism, but does not know who was behind the attacks. It is not known if threatening letters or telephone calls were made.

Quote often publishes articles about business people suspected of holding criminal links. It also recently published its controversial, annual Top 500 list of the richest Dutch families, which also comes with an estimate of their wealth.

Several people included on the list have claimed its publication is dangerous and exposes them to the risk of kidnapping aimed at extorting exorbitant ransoms. Kelder has dismissed the allegations.

Police have confirmed that an official report was lodged about the bullet that was found in Van den Biggelaar's home on Friday, but was not forthcoming with additional information. Investigations into the matter continue

Meanwhile, journalist union NVJ has labelled the shootings as threatening. "I think it is very serious that these sorts of excesses take place in a relatively peaceful society," NVJ secretary general Hans Verploeg said.

The Quote incidents are the believed to be the first shootings directed against a media office in the Netherlands, news agency ANP reported.

Shortly after the murder of maverick politician Pim Fortuyn, several journalists were subject to threats and received letters containing bullets. 

Fortuyn's LPF party accused the media of demonising the anti-immigration politician in the weeks before his May 2002 shooting death.

[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

Subject: Dutch news

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