Monday 19 April 2021

Martien Hunnik acquitted of 1981 ‘showbiz’ murder

A gavel in a courtroom.

Photo: Depositphotos

A man who served eight years in jail and psychiatric prison for a 1981 murder has finally been acquitted by judges in The Hague.

Martien Hunnik was jailed in 1984 for shooting record producer Bart van der Laar on the basis of a confession in what become known as the showbiz murder. The Supreme Court last year ordered a retrial saying there was evidence the confession was untrustworthy.

The court ruled Hunnik had not been put under pressure to make a confession but without other evidence he should be acquitted. According to the NRC, the two men had had a short relationship but the court was not told at the time that Hunnik was prone to make up stories.

Hunnik’s lawyer Geert-Jan Knoops said after the hearing that the courts should be aware that a confession without any back-up can never be grounds for a conviction.

Two other people have since been put on the suspects list. One is dead and the other cannot face charges because the case is too old, news agency ANP said.

Hunnik said after the verdict that he feels like a free man. ‘I’ve been waiting for these words for 33 years,’ he said.

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