22 June 2004
AMSTERDAM – The public prosecutor demanded in Leeuwarden Court on Monday a jail term of seven months against a man accused of acting as an accomplice during the kidnapping of schoolgirl Lusanne van der Gunn.
The defendant has been identified as 57-year-old Jacob van A., of Tweede Exloërmond in Drenthe Province, news agency ANP reported.
He is accused of being an accomplice to the abduction because he knew that Simon S. had kidnapped the then 11-year-old Friesland girl. He also allegedly pointed out a route to Germany and a site where Lusanne could be allowed to go to the toilet.
Lusanne was kidnapped as she rode on her bike to school in her home town Oldeberkoop on 25 August 2003. She was released unharmed two days later in the eastern Dutch city Venlo and walked into a city hotel.
Her kidnapper was jailed for fiver years by Leeuwarden Court in February, but the prosecution has appealed and the appeals hearing will be heard on 2 July. The prosecution demanded in the trial that S. be jailed for eight years.
Meanwhile, in the case against the alleged accomplice, the prosecution claims that S. telephoned Van A. from a café in the Limburg town of Susteren on the night of 26 August 2003 to tell him he had kidnapped Lusanne.
S. allegedly asked Van A. if he wanted to earn some money and suggested that Van A. should give police the golden tip leading to Lusanne’s safe return and thus earn the EUR 25,000 reward. The idea was to split the cash.
The prosecution claims the plan was to release Lusanne in Drenthe. Without an agreement being reached, S. departed the next day for the north-eastern Dutch province with Lusanne hidden in the trunk of his car.
In the region of Tweede Exloërmond and Stadskanaal the men spoke with each other twice, but Van A. refused to agree to the proposal from S. to share the reward.
Van A. then confessed to an acquaintance, who told police on 4 September about the discussions between Van A. and S., resulting in the arrest of both men.
The court will hand down its ruling against Van A. on 6 July.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news