Holleeder trial resumes

22nd October 2007, Comments 0 comments

22 October 2007, AMSTERDAM – The criminal case against Willem Holleeder and a number of fellow defendants will resume on Monday at the high security courthouse in Amsterdam-Osdorp. Holleeder is suspected of systematically blackmailing a number of businessmen. The high profile trial is entering its final phase. Before the short autumn recess the court started hearings on the most complex dossier in the case: the Willem Endstra file.

22 October 2007

AMSTERDAM – The criminal case against Willem Holleeder and a number of fellow defendants will resume on Monday at the high security courthouse in Amsterdam-Osdorp. Holleeder is suspected of systematically blackmailing a number of businessmen.
 
The high profile trial is entering its final phase. Before the short autumn recess the court started hearings on the most complex dossier in the case: the Willem Endstra file.

Holleeder was friends with real estate magnate Endstra for years. The relationship reportedly turned sour in 2000 however. Holleeder and his accomplices reportedly extorted many millions of euros from Endstra in the years that followed.

Endstra talked at length about the incidents to detectives from the Amsterdam police in strictest secrecy. On 17 May 2004 Endstra was shot and killed. Holleeder continues to maintain that his relationship with Endstra was good until the end.

Former lawyer Bram Zeegers confirmed Endstra's claims several weeks ago in court. He gave detailed testimony over the course of two days. A week later Zeegers was dead. It emerged that he took a fatal dose of XTC while in the company of a girlfriend. The woman, also under the influence, was arrested and is still in custody.

The sudden death of Zeegers was just the most recent in a series of bizarre incidents surrounding the trial of "crime boss" Holleeder. Police instituted a large scale investigation into the death of Zeegers but say that no connection with his status as witness in the case has been found.

The possible connection between Holleeder's prosecution and the death of other witnesses, including bar owner Thomas van der Bijl, is still the subject of investigation.

The hearings on the Endstra file are expected to continue to the end of the week.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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