The two men say the recordings were illegally taken from them by Dutch and British police 12 years ago and should be returned. They also want €700,000 in damages from the Dutch state in compensation for wrongful arrest.
The tapes feature members of the Beatles composing and in conversation during the Get Back sessions, which became the basis for the film Let it Be. The recordings were made on Nagra tape recorders and are thought to be the basis for a large number of bootlegs.
Stan Snelleman and Jos Remmerwaal say they bought the tapes from former Apple Records worker Nigel Oliver for the equivalent of €36,000 in 1992 after being outbid by Apple for other tapes at a memorabilia auction.
Twelve years later they were caught in a police sting when Oliver got in touch again and claimed to have a serious buyer to take the tapes off their hands. In January 2003, Snelleman and Remmerswaal were arrested and charged with money laundering and fencing stolen property. The case against them was formally dropped in 2007.
According to Rolling Stone magazine at the time, ‘the arrests in Holland and London climaxed a year-round intercontinental hunt for the tapes, which have been missing since the early 1970s.’
The two Dutchmen deny they were in possession of stolen property and describe the charges of money laundering and fencing as ‘extremely curious’. In addition, they want to know why Apple Records never reported the theft in the first place.
‘Apple wanted the tapes back and theft has nothing to do with it,’ Snelleman told the Volkskrant. ‘We are the victims in all this and we want the tapes back. They belong to us.’
Apple Records would not comment on the case, the Volkskrant said.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 12 years, but now we are asking our readers to help. Your donation will enable us to keep providing you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch.
Donate via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.