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Dutch News
Holleeder''s defence takes offensive 4/4/2007
3 April 2007

AMSTERDAM - Jan-Hein Kuijpers, the defence lawyer for Willem Holleeder, went straight for the offensive on Monday. He wants the court to declare the public prosecution department''s case partly inadmissible. The defence says that the public prosecution department (OM) used "ugly tactics" in calling a witness.

His objections concern the OM''s decision to call as witness the widow of Kees Houtman, who was shot and killed in November 2005. Houtman was supposedly one of the victims of blackmail by Holleeder and several other suspects.

Kuijpers says that the OM "lured her in" with the offer of protecting her anonymity, knowing that there was no way she would be able to remain anonymous. There was no doubt that lawyers defending suspects in the Houtman case would call on the woman as a witness, because she reportedly has direct knowledge of the case. A witness cannot appear anonymously and under her own name in order to testify in the very same case.

Kuijpers says the OM has played a "nasty trick" on the woman. He thinks that public prosecutors Koos Plooij and Saskia de Vries should be penalised for this.

Kuijpers had a great deal more criticism for the OM. He suspects improper dealing regarding the Endstra tapes, which contain the many conversations that the real estate magnate had with detectives from the Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIE) in 2003. Two tapes – those containing the first and last conversations – are missing.

Kuijpers wants to question prosecutor Plooij and others as witnesses about this matter.

The lawyer also asked the court to admit two anonymous witnesses for the defence. The lawyer says these witnesses can testify to Willem Endstra''s criminal dealings. Endstra was purportedly behind a failed murder attempt on ecstasy dealer Ronald van E. "I need this testimony," Kuijpers said. He proposes dealing with the Endstra case separately for the time being so as to be able to handle it properly.

The case against Willem Holleeder will continue today in the high-security courthouse in Amsterdam-Osdorp. The trial was moved to the regular court building in Amsterdam-Zuid on Monday because of explosions at the Osdorp facility in the early hours yesterday.

An anti-tank grenade was most likely fired at the high-security facility from a car behind the building. Glass from a car''s back window was found in the area. Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin is taking the attack very seriously.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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