The British tabloid newspaper The Sun has launched a campaign to force the Netherlands to extradite a Dutchman who it says has escaped back to Holland from a UK prison where he was serving a sentence for causing death by dangerous driving.
Under the headline ‘Sun finds killer on loose’, the British newspaper claims that the 38-year-old fisherman Piet Minaard from Yerseke remains free ‘thanks to a crazy legal loophole’.
Yesterday the paper called on its readers to bombard the Dutch embassy in London with telephone calls and emails to demand the extradition of Minaard.
Minaard was sentenced to five (later reduced to four) years in prison by a British court in 2003 but escaped from an open prison 20 months later.
ANP reports that the Dutch foreign affairs department in The Hague has received three or four phone calls and around 11 emails following The Sun’s appeal.
A justice ministry spokesman told ANP that European regulations mean a country can only extradite someone who is still to be tried for a crime. The British authorities could request that the man serves the rest of his sentence in the Netherlands but such a request has not been made, he added.
According to The Sun, Dutch authorities are refusing to return the man back to the UK. ‘Because the act of escaping from jail is not considered a crime in Holland, they are powerless to act,’ the paper says. Meanwhile Minaard continues to live in his ‘sumptuous home’ in Yerseke, The Sun says.
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