Quote slams lack of police security
28 November 2003
AMSTERDAM — After 19 bullets were fired at its Amsterdam office windows earlier this week, Dutch business magazine Quote remained unimpressed by the lack of police protection and public servant meddling in repairs.
While police continue their investigations into the incident — which occurred on Sunday night, but did not result in any injuries — editorial staff have not been offered any protection, newspaper De Volkskrant reported on Friday.
No police protection has been offered to Quote publisher Maarten van den Biggelaar either, despite the fact a bullet was found lodged in the ceiling of his son’s bedroom on 21 November. It was apparently fired through the window, while the boy was sleeping.
But theerosion of Quote’s faith in the power of public authorities was complete on Thursday when work was being conducted to replace the Amsterdam office windows, damaged by 19 high-calibre bullets.
Two public servants attached to the Amsterdamse Stadstoezicht — a type of public and civil works watch authority — asked if the company Van ‘t Hull had a permit for the work, being carried out two stories above the pavement.
After admitting they did not have a permit for the use of the crane, the workers were ordered to down tools. But the company dispatched director Pim Kooper to request a permit, to which a council staff member replied in the affirmative, but said it would take five days to process the request.
Kooper than asked if his company should leave Quote in the cold? Nevertheless, the company decided to quickly finish the job off, accepting the risk that it might be fined. When the public servants returned to the Quote office, on the Singel, the repair work had just finished.
The editorial department of Quote has reacted with disbelief at the lack of co-operation from the public service. The lack of police security at the house of Van den Biggelaar has also attracted sharp criticism.
Shortly after the two shooting incidents, media speculation was focused on who might have been responsible for the attacks. Quote editor-in-chief Jort Kelder refused to comment, saying only that Quote pursued the boundaries of journalism. He also said the incidents were “cowardly”.
The reason behind the shooting is not yet known, but it is being speculated that the incident is linked to the publication of several articles about Freddie Heineken kidnapper Willem Holleeder and his relationship with real estate magnate Willem Endstra.
Quote often publishes articles about business people suspected of holding criminal links. It also recently published its controversial, annual Top 500 list of the richest Dutch families, which also comes with an estimate of their wealth.
Several people included on the list have claimed its publication is dangerous and exposes them to the risk of kidnapping aimed at extorting exorbitant ransoms. Kelder has dismissed the allegations.
[Copyright Expatica News 2003]
Subject: Dutch news