Property boss Willem Endstra shot dead
17 May 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Real estate magnate Willem Endstra was gunned down and killed in Amsterdam on Monday, just days after Amsterdam Court indicated it was "highly unlikely" he would be convicted of money laundering.
17 May 2004
AMSTERDAM — Real estate magnate Willem Endstra was gunned down and killed in Amsterdam on Monday, just days after Amsterdam Court indicated it was "highly unlikely" he would be convicted of money laundering.
Endstra was gunned down just after noon near his office on the Apollolaan in Amsterdam and died of his wounds a short time later. Police have sealed off the area around the Delphi Hotel where the shooting occured and are examining the scene.
Witnesses told RTL news that two people were injured in the gun attack and police later confirmed a second person was slightly injured. The assassin ran on foot up the Beethovenstraat to get away.
RTL news also said Endstra was named by police informers as "possibly the next gangland target" following last year's murder of Cor van Hout, the mastermind behind the kidnapping of beer millionaire Freddie Heineken in 1983.
One of the richest property tycoons in the Netherlands, Endstra has denied he was the "banker of the Dutch underworld". But he was dubbed "Willem the Silent" — after Willem I of the House of Orange — for allegedly staying quiet during police interrogations.
He appeared on the Business Class television programme on RTL 5 on Sunday to once again deny he was an important link with the crime world and helped criminals launder illegally-earned cash. The programme is presented by Harry Mens and his friend, Pim Fortuyn, was a regular guest before his assassination in 2002.
Endstra: denied being
In the lead up to his assassination, the real estate magnate was facing prosecution, but lodged a legal objection against his proceedings in what is commonly referred to as a type of fencing action, newspaper De Volkskrant reported on Friday.
And in handing down its ruling on the lodged objection on Thursday, Amsterdam Court said it did not think Endstra would be convicted. It said the criminal financial investigation has not provided any evidence.
But despite the ruling, the public prosecution was free to continue its investigation of Endstra in the so-called building funds case, in which the defendant allegedly committed fraud in the transfer of property.
Endstra's lawyer said on Friday that the results of 14 years of uninterrupted investigation into Endstra's dealings had produced very little evidence of criminality against his client.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news