Arrested Feyenoord supporters advised to fight their cases
Football lawyer Frank van Ardenne is advising the 326 Feyenoord supporters arrested before the match against Roda JC in Rotterdam on Sunday, not to pay the fines imposed on them. "He who pays the fine pleads guilty and gets a criminal record", the lawyer said to BNR.
The 326 people were arrested after they tried to march on the Maasgebouw, in protest of their clubs losing streak and the club management. The supporters were fined and may be facing a stadium ban. They have all been released, but feel unfairly treated as a criminal.
Van Ardenne told BNR that he is surprised that the city and mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb opted for a criminal approach. According to him, a mayor has the power to administratively stop groups expected to cause unrest. That means the case does not fall under criminal law, but administrative law. A similar event in 2006 resulted in the Ombudsman determining that the arrests were an abuse of criminal law. "Apparently we learned nothing from the past." the lawyer said.
"Do not pay the fine and file an objection within two weeks", is the lawyer's advise. "If you pay, you admit guilt and you automatically get a criminal record."
The National Ombudsman Reinier van Zutphen launched an investigation into the arrests, NOS reports. Among other things, he will check whether the recommendations made by the previous Ombudsman, after riots in 2006 in which Feyenoord fans were involved, were followed.