Holleeder to be operated on Thursday

11th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

11 April 2007, AMSTERDAM - Willem Holleeder is expected to undergo open heart surgery on Thursday, the Volkskrant reports. His trial has been suspended indefinitely.

11 April 2007

AMSTERDAM - Willem Holleeder is expected to undergo open heart surgery on Thursday, the Volkskrant reports. His trial has been suspended indefinitely.

Holleeder is suspected of extensive blackmailing of real estate magnates and the leadership of four extremely violent criminal organisations.

The court will decide next week whether the trials of the nine other suspects in the case will take place now or be postponed as well. The public prosecution has urged that those trials be held now.

Holleeder's defence lawyer Jan-Hein Kuijpers said on Tuesday after a visit to his client at the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) that Holleeder has serious problems with at least one cardiac valve and kidney failure. He is in stable condition at the moment and coherent.

A toxicological test is also being performed at the request of Holleeder's family and lawyer, the Telegraaf reports.

Kuijpers said it was "extremely strange" that his client's health deteriorated so quickly last week. He said that the cardiac valve had been leaking for some time, but that it was not until recently that Holleeder became extremely ill. "The fact that his kidneys and liver failed as well gives rise to suspicion."

Kuijpers says the only way Holleeder could have been poisoned was through his food. "But it's also possible that medication was given him, that proved almost fatal," Kuijpers said.

Holleeder's family reportedly feared that he would die on Tuesday. The justice department gave a few family members and friends permission to "say goodbye."

Kuijpers said Holleeder's recovery will take at least three to six months.

Public prosecutor Koos Plooy said on Tuesday that the lawyer's request to have the trial postponed was "a reasonable request." He does want to continue with the questioning of witnesses behind closed doors.

Kuijpers said that Holleeder has no intention of surrendering his right to attend his trial. He has been in custody since January 2006.

There has been heavy security in place at the LUMC since Holleeder was admitted.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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