Hells Angels cleared of murder
20 April 2006, AMSTERDAM — Two members of the Limburg chapter of the Hells Angels were acquitted of murder by a court in Amsterdam on Thursday.
20 April 2006
AMSTERDAM — Two members of the Limburg chapter of the Hells Angels were acquitted of murder by a court in Amsterdam on Thursday.
Harrie R. and Swen S. denied killing Steven Chocolaad, 19, whose dismembered body was found in the Juliana Canal in Limburg in May 2003. It was alleged during the trial that the victim and the Limburg bikers club - known as the Nomads - were involved in a massive cocaine shipment.
Investigators believe the murder of Chocolaad was linked to the triple killing of three Nomad members after the drugs disappeared. Nomad president Paul de Vries and his lieutenants, Serge Wagener and Cor Peijnenburg, were shot dead by their fellow bikers in the Nomad's clubhouse in Oirsbeek, Limburg in February 2004.
The court dealing with that case ruled last year there was insufficient evidence to return murder verdicts, though several Nomads were jailed for six years for the manslaughter of De Vries. The prosecution's appeal begins in May.
Serge Wagener's widow claimed her husband was one of the people who killed Chocolaad. She was the main witness against R. and S., but the prosecution was not able to produce much independent evidence to support her claims. The panel of judges decided the two Nomads could not be convicted on her word alone.
Separately on Thursday, Amsterdam Court sentenced eight men in relation to the importation of the massive consignment of cocaine, believed to have sparked the bloodletting within the Limburg Hells Angels.
The 293 kilos of cocaine, hidden in aggregate, was smuggled to the Netherlands via the Antilles, Brazil and Portugal. One of the key players in the operation, Limburg drug dealer Donny K. was jailed for six years. The other defendants received jail terms ranging from three months to four years.
The court also imposed monetary fines on the men, although the prosecution had not asked for this form of penalty. Noting "crime must not pay", the presiding judges ordered Donny K. to pay EUR 150,000. The other fines ranged from EUR 5,000 to EUR 100,000.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news