Life sentence demanded for Hells Angels
18 February 2005, AMSTERDAM — The public prosecutor demanded in Amsterdam Court on Friday that 14 Hells Angels be sentenced to life in jail for the murder of three clubmates last year.
18 February 2005
AMSTERDAM — The public prosecutor demanded in Amsterdam Court on Friday that 14 Hells Angels be sentenced to life in jail for the murder of three clubmates last year.
A 15th suspect faces a four-year jail term for a shooting last May. The prosecutor does not suspect him of involvement in the triple murder, newspaper De Telegraaf reported on Friday.
Three members of the Limburg Hells Angels chapter the Nomads were shot and killed in February last year. Their bullet-riddled bodies were found in a stream near the southern Dutch town of Echt.
Fourteen Nomads are accused of the murder, which allegedly took place in the Oirsbeek clubhouse. The three victims, including club president Paul de Vries, were killed after allegedly stealing a consignment of 300kg of cocaine from Colombian drug lords.
A 15th suspect is accused of another shooting and two other men, members of the Curacao-based Hells Angels chapter Caribbean Brothers, are accused of involvement in the botched cocaine deal. Their cases will be heard separately.
One of the Caribbean Brothers, Angelo D., has claimed that one of the defendants has admitted that he and another Nomad committed the murders and that the order came from the Amsterdam headquarters of the Hells Angels. Disgraced Amsterdam ex-president, "Big Willem" van Boxtel, has denied the allegations.
Meanwhile, the prosecution's sentencing demand came after the court refused to allow testimony from a new witness in the murder trial on Thursday night. It said testing the reliability of the man would delay the trial by weeks, if not months.
The 22-year-old surprise witness, identified only as Romeo E., had previously told the murder trial that he overheard some of the accused men talking in a holding cell in August 2004 about how they had killed three of their clubmates earlier that year.
One of the three had spoken about how he had "shot them [the three victims] to bits," E. claimed. He said the three Hells Angels gang members described the slow murder of the victims in the bikers' clubhouse in Limburg.
He also said he heard them say, amongst other things, that the case could not be proved against them if everyone kept quiet and refused to make a statement. The defendants allegedly threatened him and warned him not to talk about what he had heard.
E. was being held in the holding cell prior to being sentenced last year to two years jail, eight months of which was suspended, for threatening Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk.
The prosecutor announced the new witness on Wednesday, but defence lawyers said the prosecutor had summonsed him too late in the day. They also claimed E. was an unreliable fantasist and demanded a psychiatric assessment.
The man also behaved strangely in court on Thursday, saying he had hoped the prosecutor in his own case had fallen ill with leukaemia, news agency Novum reported.
In order to accept the witness, the court found that a reliability test would have to be conducted. But it felt that this would take too long because E. would have to be extensively screened.
The court said there was no time left and ruled the trial should be completed on schedule. Presiding judge Fred Saloman made the ruling "in the interests of the case and the large number of suspects", RTL News reported.
A ruling will be handed down on 18 March.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news