Marathon gangland killing trial with 11 defendants draws to a close

The trial of 10 men and one woman accused of involvement in at least seven gangland killings is drawing to a close at Amsterdam’s high security court this week after three years.

The public prosecution department will spend six days summing up its case and making sentencing demands before judges can finally consider their verdicts.
The trial has been repeatedly stopped, restarted and delayed, partly due to the involvement of key crown witness Peter la Serpe, who admitted involvement in one of the murders.
Five of the killings under investigation took place in 1993. The others include the murders of property magnate Kees Houtman in 2005 and cafe owner Thomas van der Bijl in 2006.
The 11 on trial are also charged with planning other killings, membership of a criminal organisation, money laundering and the illegal possession of weapons.
By the time the trial actually started in 2009, some 257 witnesses had been heard during the police investigation, 500 telephones were tapped and the paperwork filled 250 files.

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