Willem Holleeder’s conviction for provoking five murders must be upheld. The Advocate General at the Supreme Court wrote this in an opinion on Tuesday.
In June last year, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal sentenced Holleeder to life imprisonment on appeal for giving a series of murder orders. Holleeder, who has always denied it, submitted the case to the Supreme Court in cassation. The imposed sentence can also remain in place, the Advocate General (AG) believes.
The court considers it proven that the now 65-year-old Holleeder is the mastermind behind the liquidations of Cor van Hout and Robert ter Haak (2003), Willem Endstra (2004), Kees Houtman (2005), John Mieremet (2005) and Thomas van der Ax (2006). He is also behind a failed assassination attempt on Mieremet in 2002.
In 2019, the court concluded that Holleeder was guilty of provoking the murders. The judge also sentenced him to life in prison.
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The Holleeder sisters made ‘extensive and detailed’ statements
Important evidence against Holleeder has been provided by his sisters Astrid and Sonja and his ex-girlfriend Sandra den Hartog. The women have explained at length and in detail.
Fred R. and Peter la S. also testified against him. Both were key witnesses in the extensive Passage liquidation trial, which was partly about the same murders. Holleeder’s partner in crime Dino S. also received a life sentence in that trial.
‘No indications that someone else is behind it’
In the cassation proceedings, Holleeder’s lawyers questioned the legality of the key witness deals and the reliability of statements from various witnesses. They also objected to the life sentence imposed.
The Supreme Court has already assessed the legality of the key witness deals in Passage, the AG believes. The court did not deviate from that line in the Holleeder case. The court extensively investigated the reliability of the statements of the sisters, among others.
This also applies to the question of whether others might be responsible for the murders. This has “provided no indications that someone other than the suspect is behind the murders,” the AG ruled.
The advice of the Advocate General is not binding. The Supreme Court is expected to give its ruling on January 9. No appeal is possible against this. If the Supreme Court reaches a similar conclusion as the Advocate General, the conviction is final.