Judges in Amsterdam have ruled that 33 brothels, scheduled for closure by the city council, can stay open until their appeals have been heard. The court ruled that Amsterdam City Council had no grounds for demanding the red-light premises be shut down immediately.
Seven brothel owners had gone to court in protest at council plans to withdraw their licences.
The council is trying to stamp out organised crime within the Red Light District and has cancelled the licences of owners said to have criminal connections. It has accused brothel owners of being involved with money laundering and drug-running and told the court that as long as the brothels still functioned, these criminal activities would continue.
However, the court ruled that no brothels should be shut down until all the appeals by the sex industry bosses had been heard. This will take at least until the end of May, sources said.
‘Now I will get the chance to defend myself. This is about justice,’ Charles Geerts, one of the biggest brothel owners in the city, told news agency ANP. Geerts owns around 20 buildings with some 60 red-light windows.
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