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5 April 2007
AMSTERDAM – During today’s hearing of the Willem Holleeder trial, the court will listen to the so-called Endstra tapes, the taped registration of discussions held in secret between the property magnate Willem Endstra and the police. This will be a selection of roughly one and a half to two hours of the total thirty hours of tape.
Endstra is seen as the most important extortion victim of Holleeder and some fellow-suspects.
They appear to have extorted millions from the businessman. If he did not pay, he would be shot dead, so Endstra told his police contacts. His family were also at risk.
The discussions formed the basis of the case against Holleeder and his henchmen. Endstra described in detail how he was pursued and squeezed dry. He also stated that Holleeder was responsible for a series of liquidations in the criminal world.
The judiciary and police are still investigating if Holleeder can be criminally charged for his possible involvement in these murders. Endstra was shot dead on 17 May 2004 outside his office on the Apollolaan in Amsterdam.
The trial lawyers, led by Holleeder’s lawyer Jan-Hein Kuijpers, believe that the so-called back-seat discussions cannot be used as evidence and that Endstra is completely untrustworthy. Furthermore, his trustworthiness can no longer be tested.
Kuijpers wants to bring two anonymous witnesses into the trial. They can allegedly provide evidence about Endstra’s criminal activities. The property magnate was reportedly also involved in the attempt to liquidate Ronald van E. (Essen), ecstasy-dealer and one of the people he owed money to. Van E. was shot in the head in Amsterdam in 1999, but survived the attack.
Today, Thursday, the court will decide if Kuijpers will be allowed to bring in the two anonymous witnesses.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news
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