Poor Willem Holleeder. After just three days of his trial on multiple blackmail charges, the man described by some as Holland’s biggest ‘mafia boss’ is exhausted and possibly sick, according to his lawyer.

Holleeder is stressed out and the early morning trip between the high security prison in Vught and the court room in Amsterdam – 96 kms – is too much for him.
Some people of course have to do this every day just to get to work on time and earn an honest wage. It’s called commuting. Going to bed earlier could be an option, but then again some people might say a bad conscience gives you sleepless nights.
Everyone knows that the impression a suspect makes in the court room is vital – terrorist suspect Mohammed B. didn’t do himself any favours with what was seen as an arrogant attitude.
Much better then to lay your head down wearily on your arms and generally make yourself look like a victim rather than the perpetuator of a crime.
But the really, really shocking thing is the assertion by his lawyer Jan-Hein Kuijpers yesterday that the way Holleeder is being treated during the case borders on ‘torture’.
A disgraceful assertion. Not only is the use of the word ‘torture’ a cynical attempt to ensure media headlines, it is a shameless denigration of genuine torture victims.

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