The public prosecution department may be forced to pay compensation to a motorbike gang member after wrongly selling a Harley Davidson bike, the NRC said on Thursday.
Judges ordered the motorbike be returned to the biker but the department had already sold it at auction, the paper said.
Limburg police seized 14 Harley Davidson bikes last year when they arrested 14 members of the Bandidos gang. The 14 have been charged with membership of a criminal organisation but their trial has not yet begun.
Lawyers have long been critical of the department’s policy of selling confiscated possessions belonging to people who had not yet been convicted of a crime, the paper said.
Lawyer Gitte Stevens, who is representing several of the men, discovered the bikes had been sold after negotiating with officials for their return. In one case the bike belonged to the father of one of the Bandidos. It was sold for €11,5000 despite being valued at €32,000.
Last year the police confiscated 200,000 personal possessions during criminal investigations. Many are sold off to reduce the cost of storage.
If people are found not guilty, they are entitled to the auction price. ‘But things are often sold well below the market price, so the suspect does not get enough compensation,’ lawyer Patrick van der Meij told the paper.
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