An international tennis coach has gone on trial accused of stabbing millionaire businessman Koen Everink to death in his own home.
The 42-year-old was found by his six-year-old daughter in his villa in Bilthoven in March 2016, having been stabbed dozens of times with his own kitchen knives.
Suspicion quickly fell on Mark de Jong, the coach of Dutch number one tennis player Robin Haase, who had borrowed tens of thousands of euros from Everink to bankroll his online poker habit.
The two men had watch football together in Everink’s house the night before the businessman’s body was found. Police found traces of Everink’s blood in De Jong’s car and the imprint of De Jong’s shoe on a bloodstained envelope. Everink’s luxury watch, which was missing from the house, later turned up in De Jong’s sister’s house.
De Jong, 30, was arrested three weeks later as he returned with Haase from a tennis tournament in Miami. Haase is not a suspect in the case but has been called to testify as a witness.
De Jong has protested his innocence throughout the case. He claims that at the time of the murder he was abducted outside Everink’s house by four men who held him hostage in his own car. However, police say they have found no evidence that anyone else had been in the house.
Everink made his fortune from his travel website, Eliza Was Here, and was worth an estimated €15 million in 2013, according to Quote magazine. He was a keen tennis player and fan and spent much of his money travelling to tournaments around the world, as well as helping to finance the careers of promising young players.
In 2012 he was left seriously injured in by kickboxer Badr Hari, who assaulted him in an executive box during a dance event at the Amsterdam Arena. Hari was later given a two-year jail sentence for several assaults, including on Everink, and ordered to pay the businessman €37,326 in compensation.
The prosecution service is expected to submit its sentencing demand on Tuesday, after the court in Utrecht has heard the evidence and statements from Everink’s family. They are claiming €26,050 in unpaid debts from De Jong.
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