Monday, January 18, 2016 - 14:54
Suspects acquitted in "Underworld Banker" assassination
The court in Amsterdam acquitted three men of involvement in the assassination of real estate magnate Willem Endstra. The court ruled that there is not enough evidence to prove without a doubt that the three men - Turkish-Amsterdam cousins Ali N. and Ozgur Z. and Turk Ziya G., were involved, Het Parool reports. The Public Prosecutor demanded 14 and 16 years in prison against the suspects. According to the court, the fact that several witnesses identified N. and C. in photos is insufficient to prove their involvement. These witnesses could have previously seen photos of the men. And that DNA traces of them were found in a van from which Endstra was observed is also insufficient to prove that they were involved in the murder. The court also ruled that key witness Hidir K.'s testimony is unreliable. K., who once belonged to a group of Turkish-Amsterdam criminals who he claims were involved in several assassinations, stated that the three acquitted suspects were the hitmen deployed to kill Endstra, and that the orders were given by Willem Holleeder, Dino Soerel and Stanely Hillis. The Prosecutor saw K. as a reliable witness, but the court disagreed. K. repeatedly made incorrect or unclear statements, according to the court. "In the worst case he lied, in the best case his memory failed him." The court explicitly stated that its opinion on K.'s reliability in this case has nothing to do with his reliability as a witness in other cases. This is important because K. can also be used as a witness in the Passage-case and the case against Willem Holleeder.