Powned under fire for paying bike gang boss to be on tv

Police arrest NOS hostage taker who ‘wanted to speak to CNN’

Public broadcaster Powned did pay the leader of a ‘outlaw’ motorcycle gang ‘expenses’ for his role in a documentary series about him, station director Dominique Weesie has confirmed. The Telegraaf claims Henk Kuipers, arrested earlier this week on changes of serious physical assault and blackmail, was paid €1,000 per episode. So far 10 episodes, each lasting nine minutes, have been placed online. Weesie first denied that Kuipers is paid for his role in the mini documentaries but said on Thursday evening he is paid ‘expenses’ of below the €1,000 sources told the Telegraaf. He also said the cash did not come from the broadcaster’s official funding but from the money raised through Powned members. Powned was founded in 2009 by the GeenStijl shockblog. The company says it will not pull the series, seen by critics as propaganda for the No Surrender motorbike gang, despite the arrests. CDA MPs have called on the government to explain why ‘organised crime is being given such a stage’ while Labour MP Attje Kuiken said Weesie is ‘helping to romanticise the club and then lying about it.’  More >