Moszkowicz resigns from Holleeder case
19 February 2007, AMSTERDAM - Lawyer Bram Moszkowicz is resigning from the defence of high profile criminal Willem Holleeder. He said this on Monday during an emotional and crowded press conference.
19 February 2007
AMSTERDAM - Lawyer Bram Moszkowicz is resigning from the defence of high profile criminal Willem Holleeder. He said this on Monday during an emotional and crowded press conference.
Lawyer Jan-Hein Kuijpers will take over Holleeder's defence.
Moszkowicz said he was extremely disappointed that would no longer be able to act as Holleeder's attorney. He made it clear that this was a very emotional decision for him.
Moszkowicz attacked the public prosecution department (OM) during the press conference. He said his reputation had been too damaged over the past weeks for him to be able to defend his client properly.
He said this was the result of a deliberate offensive against him at the beginning of this year, the aim of which was to make it impossible for him to defend Holleeder. Moszkowicz said that the OM, the heirs of murdered real estate magnate Willem Endstra, and editor-in-chief of Quote, Jort Kelder, were responsible for this offensive.
Moszkowicz came under fire especially because of the fact that he had also represented Willem Endstra in the past, the real estate magnate shot dead in front of his own office in 2004. Still Moszkowicz remained Holleeder's lawyer in the criminal case in which his client was charged with extorting money from a number of real estate magnates, including Endstra.
It emerged last week that Moszkowicz's office had supposedly leaked documents to the media with the aim of blackening Endstra's name, according to a report from the national criminal investigation service. Endstra's heirs used this report as the grounds for a complaint they lodged against the controversial defence lawyer last week.
The pressure on Moszkowicz was also stepped up last week when the Amsterdam court ruled that Jort Kelder, editor of Quote, had not crossed the line when he called Moszkowicz a "buddy of the mafia." Judge M. Poelmann even went so far as to say that he believed Kelder had sufficient reason to make these kinds of qualifications.
Moszkowicz regards his forced departure as "the blackest day" of his career and "a low point in the history of Dutch criminal law." He felt his integrity had been damaged, particularly by the ruling in the injunction against Jort Kelder.
Jort Kelder said he was shocked at the personal attack from Moszkowicz. "I understand that he thinks there is some sort of conspiracy between the justice department, Endstra's heirs, and myself, but there is no such thing," Kelder said. "I am surprised at his unprofessional reaction, because I’ve done nothing but do my job as a journalist."
Moszkowicz has "serious doubts" now whether Holleeder can be given a fair trial.
[Copyright Expatica + ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news