No Surrender founder to press slander charges against prosecutor, mayor
Klaas Otto, founder of outlaw motorcycle gang No Surrender, is pressing slander charges against Breda chief prosecutor Charles van der Voort and Bergen op Zoom mayor Frank Petter, his lawyer Louis de Leon confirmed to AD. The reason for the charges is recent publications in the Volkskrant and the Telegraaf in which Van der Voort linked Otto to two assassinations and Petter called him a professional criminal.
De Leon is convinced that these publications are "directed by the highest level of the Public Prosecution". According to him, they form part of a well-though-out media campaign to turn public opinion against Otto. "That's trial by media. We would greatly appreciate a judicial review. They're speaking out of turn with these accusations", the lawyer said to AD.
Otto is officially facing charges of extortion, money laundering, arson and threats. In the Telegraaf, prosecutor Van der Voort said that Otto is not currently in custody "for the cases everyone thinks". He drew a parallel with the so-called Passage Process against Willem Holleeder in Amsterdam. According to the prosecutor, it took a long time for the concrete charges of assassination to be on the table against Holleeder. He hinted that the same is now happening in the case against Otto. "We are on our way to get that done."
It has long been known that the police considers Otto a suspect of the murders of Peter van der Linde in Breda this year and Hugo van Houten in Molenschoot in 2015.
The Prosecutor also spoke about two of Otto's ex-girlfriends dying under "suspicious circumstances", and that he treats women in a humiliating way.
According to De Leon, Van der Voort making these accusations in public, does not suit his function. "It's not done that a prosecutor taunts someone without proof. Certainly an authority figure must adhere to the principle that someone is innocent until proven otherwise." According to De Leon, Otto had nothing to do with Van der Linde and Van Houten's murders. "Peter van der Linde was his friend. He was greatly affected by his death", he said to AD. About the prosecutor's statements over Otto's ex-girlfriends, De Leon said: "Those cases have already been investigated and led to nothing. Otto was in the car when one of the women committed suicide. He was in custody for a few days for investigation and then sent home."
Talking to the Volkskrant, Bergen op Zoom mayor Petter called Otto, among other things, a "professional criminal" that has grown almost too big to prosecute. "I'm not saying my client is a clean slate, but his criminal record does not justify such typing."
Prosecutor Van der Voort told AD that he "awaits" the charges against him. A spokesperson for Mayor Petter refused to comment.