Hells Angels deny guilt in triple murder
3 February 2005, AMSTERDAM — The Hells Angels gang members suspected of killing three clubmates in February last year pleaded not guilty on the third day of their trial in the heavily-guarded Amsterdam-Osdorp courthouse on Thursday.
3 February 2005
AMSTERDAM — The Hells Angels gang members suspected of killing three clubmates in February last year pleaded not guilty on the third day of their trial in the heavily-guarded Amsterdam-Osdorp courthouse on Thursday.
The presiding judge asked the 15 defendants what they thought of the charges and whether they wished to give testimony. The men summarily denied the allegations and refused to make any statement.
A couple of suspects also said the murder charge was "ridiculous", but refused to elaborate further, news service NOS reported.
In preliminary investigations, only one of the suspects gave a statement to police, but this did not explain the murders or the way they were carried out.
The judge said the court will respect the choice of the defendants not to testify, but warned them that the case lodged against them poses questions that can only be cleared up by the suspects themselves.
He was referring, for example, to the rental car which was allegedly used to transport the bodies of the three victims. The judge said that the suspects have given different reasons why the bus was hired by some of the defendants and this raised questions.
He also said although the Hells Angels gang members are refusing to answer questions, he has a right to ask.
Paul de Vries, the president of the Nomads chapter of the Hells Angels, and two fellow members, Serge Wagener and Cor Pijnenburg, were found shot dead in a stream near the southern Dutch town of Echt on 13 February last year. Their bodies were riddled with bullet wounds.
The defendants are accused of conspiring to kill the men after they allegedly stole 300kg of cocaine in a botched deal with Colombia drug lords. The murders were allegedly carried out to appease the Colombians.
The public prosecutor suspects the men were murdered in the Oirsbeek clubhouse of the Hells Angels chapter. Traces of blood from the three victims were found there despite an alleged cover-up renovation.
Star prosecution witness Angelo D. said one of two defendants, Marco H. and Jack S., alleged the pair had carried out the murders. One of the men allegedly said they had removed "the shit from the pavement" because they didn't tolerate "rip deals".
D. also claims the order to kill the victims came from the Amsterdam headquarters of the Hells Angels gang. Expelled Amsterdam president "Big" Willem van Boxtel allegedly knew about the murders.
The trial was relocated temporarily to the Rotterdam Hall of Justice on Tuesday to ensure D.'s safety. A member of the Curacao Hells Angels chapter, Caribbean Brothers, D. is accused of involvement in the cocaine deal, but is expected to be placed in a witness protection programme in exchange for his testimony.
The trial is expected to take up to four weeks.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news