Holleeder treatment ‘verges on torture’

The treatment being meted out to suspected crime boss Willem Holleeder ‘verges on torture’, his lawyer Jan-Hein Kuijpers said in court on Thursday. Holleeder is suffering from exhaustion and hyperventilating because of the way he is being treated, Kuijpers said.

Holleeder is woken up in his high security prison cell at 3am and brought to the Amsterdam court by 6am where he has to wait for hours for the hearings to begin, Kuijpers said. ‘What in heaven’s name are we doing, can we really treat someone like this?’ the lawyer asked the court.
Thursday is the third day of hearings in the Holleeder blackmail case. He is alleged to have blackmailed four property magnates, two of whom have since been killed.
Today the judges were played fragments of tape recordings made of an interview with property tycoon Willem Endstra who was shot dead in 2004. During the interview, Endstra says he is being threatened and blackmailed by Holleeder.
In total, the public prosecution department has 30 hours of taped interviews with Endstra, recorded during car journeys on 15 different occasions.
Later on Thursday the prosecution is due to focus on the first blackmail case which involves that of property tycoon Rolf Friedländer. It alleges Holleeder and his accomplices blackmailed Friedländer in 1998 for between €300,000 and €600,000.
Holleeder denies blackmail and Friedländer says he has no reason at all to believe Holleeder was blackmailing him.

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