Appeal court upholds Holleeder sentence

Amsterdam’s appeal court on Friday upheld the nine-year jail sentence imposed on Willem Holleeder for blackmail, membership of a criminal organisation, and money laundering.

Holleeder was first found guilty of blackmailing three property tycoons in 2007. That trial was the result of a three-year investigation into Holleeder, who was jailed in the 1980s for kidnapping beer magnate Freddie Heineken.
Holleeder’s lawyer said immediately he would appeal again.
This case against him was largely based on witness testimony. The most damning were recorded statements given by property tycoon and blackmail victim Willem Endstra, who was murdered in 2004.
A second blackmail victim, Kees Houtman, was also murdered.

Heart trouble

Holleeder’s trial began in early 2007 but was halted after he developed serious heart trouble. The hearings resumed in September.
In early October key witness Bram Zeegers died of a drugs overdose just days after giving evidence.
The appeal court said the nine-year sentence reflected Holleeder’s serious heart problems. The public prosecution department had called for a 10 year sentence.
Two fellow defendents, Maruf F and Marcel Kaatee were found not guilty. Holleeder’s ex girlfriend was given 240 hours community service for money laundering.
Holleeder is also still under investigation on several murder charges.

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