Expatica news

Quote threat ‘not critical’

5 December 2003

AMSTERDAM — The threat posed against publisher Quote Media after bullets were fired through its Amsterdam office windows and the home of its publisher recently did not warrant the offer of extra police security, Mayor Job Cohen has claimed.

Dutch business magazine Quote sharply criticised the lack of police protection last week, claiming editorial staff were not offered police security after 19 high-calibre bullets were fired at its office on 24 November.

No police protection was 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.

But Mayor Cohen said during a public order and safety commission meeting on Thursday night that the threat was not considered critical enough to warrant extra police protection, news agency ANP reported.

He said the decision against police protection was taken after a “threat analysis” was made. Police occasionally carry out such analyses to determine if criminals will return to commit repeat offences.

But after the gun attack, Quote was quickly linked up via a private security firm to the police’s alarm system. The business magazine had submitted such a request some time ago.

Quote editor-in-chief Jort Kelder labelled the shooting incidents as “cowardly”, but the reason behind the attacks still remains unknown.

It has been speculated that the incident is linked to the publication of articles about Freddie Heineken kidnapper Willem Holleeder and his relationship with real estate magnate Willem Endstra. Quote also recently published its controversial, annual Top 500 list of the richest Dutch families, which also comes with an estimate of their wealth.

Cohen has labelled the shootings as a “particularly serious matter” and said society must guarantee the freedom of opinion. He hoped for a successful end to police inquiries, but refused to provide any details.

[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

Subject: Dutch news