Holleeder show broadcast tonight, but everyone has seen it
A television show featuring the Netherlands’ most notorious criminal is to be broadcast on Friday night, but most of the papers already have extensive coverage of the interview.
Convicted kidnapper and blackmailer Willem Holleeder was interviewed on Thursday evening for the television show College Tour, a series of high profile television interviews held before an audience of students, who can also ask direct questions.
According to Nos television, Holleeder left many questions unanswered. He would not answer questions about the crimes he was convicted of or about his family but did speak about his youth in Amsterdam’s Jordaan district.
Holleeder was released from jail in January after serving six years of a nine-year sentence for extortion and blackmail. The 54-year-old, who also spent time in jail for kidnapping beer magnate Freddie Heineken, is still considered a suspect in connection with a number of gangland killings.
According to the Telegraaf, Holleeder agreed after his release with Heineken’s security team that he would avoid his victim. ‘I once saw him in a restaurant but left immediately,’ the paper quotes him as saying.
Holleeder did say he was sorry about kidnapping Heineken and his driver Ab Doderer, and that he would never have killed them.
And some of the ransom money which was never found was burnt on the beach, he said.
Security was strict before the interview and the audience was ordered to hand over mobile phones. Nevertheless, populist news show PowNed did manage to take secret recordings from the back of the hall.
Students also reported Holleeder said he had not gone looking for publicity since his release from jail.
‘He sat twisting on his chair’ and appeared nervous at the beginning, one student told Nos television.
‘He was charming, a sort of cuddly criminal,’ said another. ‘If you did not know what he had done, you would not have been surprised to find out he was a bank director.’
Another told BNR radio the student audience did not dare question him very deeply. ‘It is Holleeder after all,’ BNR quoted him as saying.
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