The coach of top Dutch tennis player Robin Haasse has appeared in court accused of murdering businessman Koen Everink.
Mark de J. has denied killing Everink, who was found stabbed to death at his home in Bilthoven on March 4. He is also accused of stealing the 42-year-old’s phone and watch. His parents are accused of passing on the €42,000 watch, which police eventually traced to De J’s sister.
De J. told a court on Monday that he had been kidnapped at around the time of the murder, the Parool reported. He claimed to have been dragged out of his car and had a hat pulled down over his face in an ordeal lasting around 10 minutes.
Everink made his fortune setting up the Eliza Was Here travel agency before selling his shares in 2012. The following year Quote magazine estimated his worth at €15 million. He was a passionate tennis fan and travelled the world following Dutch players at Grand Slam and other tournaments.
He made headlines in 2012 when he was attacked and badly injured by kickboxer Badr Hari, who was sentenced to two years in jail for the assault on Everink and other incidents.
Haasse told the Volkskrant at the weekend that his coach had run up debts with Everink and the pair played poker together. He said: ‘We don’t know anything. He is the main suspect, but that’s not unusual because he was the last person in Koen’s house. That’s never been a secret.’
Haasse added: ‘Obviously I hope he didn’t do it. I think only Koen’s family hope that, because then the killer has been caught. Everybody else wants Mark to be innocent. They know him as a person and he’s not that type.’
Prosecutors told the district court in Utrecht that the investigation into Everink’s death was ongoing and some witnesses still had to be questioned.
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