Trial starts for nine suspects involved in deadly brawl on Majorca

Lelystad court. Photo: Molly Quell
Lelystad court. Photo: Molly Quell

The trial of nine men accused of participating in a deadly brawl while on the Spanish holiday island of Majorca last year started on Tuesday in Lelystad.

A fight that started over a barstool and spread onto the streets of Playa de Palma in 2021 left one 27-year-old Dutchman dead and several others seriously injured. Prosecutors have charged three men with murder and the remaining six with assault and violent disorder.

The group, ranging in age from 18 to 20, say they did participate in various aspects of the altercation, but all have denied dealing any of the fatal blows that killed Carlo Heuvelman. The Spanish medical examiner concluded that Heuvelman died after being struck repeatedly in the head.

According to the prosecution, one suspect – Sanil B – had Heuvelman’s DNA on their shoes. His lawyers deny this. ‘I strongly deny that I kicked Carlo Heuvelman,’ Sanil B told the court.

The repeated denial of any involvement in the more serious aspects of the crimes irritated the prosecutor, who at one point told the group to ‘man up’ and be honest about the events.

3D recreation

The court was shown a 3D rendering of the street where the worst of the violence took place. Witnesses and security cameras showed how the dispute started over a chair in a bar and spilled out into the crowded street.

In one video, the owner of the bar can be seen breaking up the start of the fight. Later, cell phone footage showed Heuvelman lying still on the ground.

A trial in Lelystad

The case was moved to the Netherlands on the request of the Spanish, since the victim and all of the suspects are Dutch. The group mostly fled Spain after the incidents although one member of the group remained behind to return the key to their rental house.

All of the suspects had been released from pretrial detention but the judge ordered one defendant to return to jail after the hearing. He admittedly to repeatedly violating the terms of his release, including going on holiday and using drugs.

The trial will continue over the next several weeks. The family and girlfriend of Heuvelman will address the court next week. A verdict is expected on November 18th.

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