Holleeder's lawyer says judge was biased
The lawyer of suspected crime boss Willem Holleeder argued today that Rino Verpalen, the judge in charge of the trial which led to Mr Holleeder's conviction, was biased and had already been convinced of his guilt before the completion of the case.
AMSTERDAM -- Lawyer Stijn Franken appeared in court today to appeal Holleeder's conviction for blackmail.
Franken referred to comments made by the judge in the newspaper De Telegraaf last summer, before the completion of the trial, that he was convinced of Mr Holleeder's guilt. At the time, Franken protested that the judge was not impartial; however, the court accepted the judge's denial of ever having made the comments. Today Franken reportedly provided e-mails showing that the judge had indeed said he was convinced the suspect was guilty.
The judge allegedly took the killing of real estate magnate Kees Houtman in to account in his decision to convict Holleeder, even though he was not on trial for that murder. The court will decide on Friday if a retrial is necessary.
Radio Netherlands/ Expatica