The long-awaited trial of suspected crime boss Willem Holleeder was moved to a different court in Amsterdam on Monday afternoon following the discovery of a ‘partly unexploded projectile’ at the high security Osdorp court complex.
Overnight, the Osdorp building had been hit by two projectiles, though to be similar to grenades, which damaged a number of windows.
The prosecution department spokeswoman said no-one was in danger, but it had been decided to move the trial to minimise disruption.
The trial of Holleeder on blackmail charges is the biggest anti-organised crime case to be heard in the Netherlands in recent years. Holleeder and a number of others are accused of blackmailing four property investors, including Willem Endstra. Endstra was shot dead on an Amsterdam street in 2004.
Holleeder and his co-accused are also charged with being members of a criminal organisation.
The trial is complicated by the fact that Endstra and alleged victim Kees Houtman are both dead. The two other alleged victims both deny they were being blackmailed. Nevertheless, the prosecution is convinced it can prove its case.
Two anonymous witnesses are to be called in the trial, Holleeder’s defence lawyer Jan-Heijn Kuijpers said on Saturday. The witnesses will say that Endstra was himself behind a failed murder attempt and had blackmailed a business partner, Kuijpers said.
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