Prosecutor investigating Heineken kidnapper in assassinations

Cor_van_Hout_en_Willem_Holleeder
. Cor van Hout (left) and Willem Holleeder (right) in the Palace of Justice in Amsterdam, 1987 (Source: Wikimedia/Bogaerts, Rob / Anefo)

The Public Prosecutor started a new preliminary investigation into Willem Holleeder on September 10th. The investigation is led by investigating judge SF van Merwijk.

Statements made by new chief witness, Fred R, indicates that Holleeder is suspected in three murder cases, NRC.nl reports. These include the murder of Cor van Hout, Holleeder's brother in law. Van Hout and Holleerder became known after the kidnapping of Freddy Heineken.

The other two cases are concerning the murders of hashish traffickers Cees Houtman and Thomas van der Bijl - the owner of Amsterdam cafe Halles. Van der Bijl and Cor van Hout were good friends. Van der Bijl helped Van Hout and Holleeder with their flight to France after Heineken's kidnapping.

Chief witness Fred R. said in statements that Holleeder ordered these murders. It is not known how Fred R. came about this information.

Justice has suspected for years that Holleeder is involved in a series of assassinations. Underground Banker Willem Endstra told Amsterdam police in 2003 and 2004 that a group of criminals around Holleeder was responsible for 25 killings. Endstra was murdered in 2004.

Late in 2007 Holleeder was convicted for the extortion of four men, including Willem Endstra and Cees Houtman.  During that investigation suspicions arose that Holleeder was involved with assassinations, but he could not be prosecuted at the time due to insufficient evidence.

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