Police brutality claim over Celtics clash

Ajax Celtics disturbances in Amsterdam
. Ajax Celtics disturbances in Amsterdam

Amsterdam police will have to answer for 25 claims that they were too heavy handed against supporters from Glasgow football club Celtic.The club has hired Amsterdam lawyer Jeroen Soeteman, who has since said that an admission by authorities that "something went wrong" is the top priority.

Police clashed with Celtic fans amidst the Champions League match against Ajax on November 6 in Amsterdam. Celtic had said from the beginning that the complaints by fans of police brutality, sounded trustworthy.

Celtic fans have said that their clash with Amsterdam police had been sparked by Ajax fans getting hold of a flag which Celtic supporters had been holding. Eight officers were hurt during the disturbances that occurred in Centrum. Police arrested 44 people, 28 of them Celtic fans. A judge has meanwhile sentenced five of them to two months in prison for public disturbance and assaulting police officers.

Amsterdam authorities have since cautioned bars in the city not to serve alcohol in glasses tomorrow, when fans of Barcelona are expected for their club's match against Ajax. Any bar caught violating this rule may expect "administrative measures."

But the city has bigger issues to deal with than defiant bartenders; lawyer Soeteman said he has in his possession seven DVD's with security camera footage, that could be incriminating against police officers.

He is pursuing 25 cases, but in total the football club had received 200 complaints of police brutality. The lawyer said he expects to have a clear vision of what took place, and on whether there is cause for individual claims against police officers.

He pointed out that there is the possibility of filings claims at the police and the possibility take the cases to the Prosecutor's Office. "Logical"would be the first option, taking the claims to the police.

"In order to pursue individual claims we have to first see if we can prove what happened. For that we will need witnesses as well as evidence," said Soeteman.   He said that when he has finished poring over all material, he will discuss with the supporters which steps to take next.

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