Sunday 12 July 2020

Tennis coach murder trial delayed after defence lawyer quits over dna

A gavel in a courtroom.

Photo: Depositphotos

The trial of an international tennis coach accused of stabbing millionaire businessman Koen Everink to death in his own home was suspended on Tuesday after the main defence lawyer quit the case.

Pieter Hoogendam resigned saying he could no longer properly defend his client after judges refused to sanction tests on other dna found in Everink’s home.

Last week Hoogendam accused the judges of tunnel vision in the case. On Tuesday he had a heated exchange with the judges, asking if the court really did want to find out what happened in the house in Bilthoven in March 2016. When the court again refused to sanction new dna test, the lawyer said he was standing down.

His decision means suspect Mark de Jong, the coach of Dutch number one tennis player Robin Haase, will now have to find a new lawyer, which is likely to delay the trial several months.

Everink 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 who had borrowed tens of thousands of euros from Everink to bankroll his online poker habit.

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.

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