Holleeder faces 15 years over attempted killing
6 October 2006, AMSTERDAM — The public prosecution office claims it has enough evidence to prosecute top criminal Willem Holleeder of attempted murder.
6 October 2006
AMSTERDAM — The public prosecution office claims it has enough evidence to prosecute top criminal Willem Holleeder of attempted murder.
Up until now, prosecution officials could only charge Holleeder with bribery, blackmail and assault, Dutch media reported on Friday.
The breakthrough in the case involves an anonymous witness, who has given a detailed statement about the involvement of Holleeder in the attempted murder of crime boss John Mieremet in Amsterdam in February 2002.
The witness has allegedly told the prosecution that Holleeder said to him he was looking for a hire killer to murder Mieremet, who was severely wounded in the attack.
If the prosecutor can prove this in court, Holleeder could be jailed for 15 years
The third public hearing involving Holleeder and seven other co-suspects will take place in the heavily-secured Amsterdam-Osdorp Court, the so-called 'bunker', on Friday.
The suspects are accused of blackmail and money laundering.
But justice authorities are also investigating a serious of gangland killings, dating back to the end of the 1990s.
It has not yet been ruled out that Amsterdam pub owner Thomas van der Bijl, who was shot and killed in April, is one of Holleeder's victims.
Van der Bijl became a police informant about Holleeder in 2005 and the public prosecutor said his violent death reinforced the feeling that if people talk about Holleeder, they end up dead.
Real estate businessman Willem Endstra and Kees Houtman also spoke with police about Holleeder. The public prosecution believes Holleeder blackmailed both and later had both of them killed. Mieremet was eventually murdered in Thailand last November.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Dutch news