Annoyed lawyers post Holleeder-tapes online
The lawyers of convicted criminal Dino Soerel posted the transcription of a conversation between criminal kingpin Willem Holleeder and crime journalist Peter R. de Vries online. De Vries plans to play the recording, dating from 2011, on RTL Boulevard on Tuesday evening. Soerel's lawyers, from Ficq & Partners, wanted to beat him to it, NOS reports.
On their website the lawyers write that De Vries is creating a false picture of reality and acts as a journalist in an "extremely questionable way".
The recording was extensively discussed in the currently ongoing trial against Holleeder for his role in five assassinations in the Amsterdam underworld. In the conversation with De Vries, Holleeder does not say anything about the assassinations. But according to the Public Prosecutor, Holleeder does talk about his cooperation with Soerel, who is currently serving life in prison, and Stanley Hillis, who was assassinated in 2011.
Soerel denies this, saying that Holleder's "lies" are harmful to him and his appeal against his life sentence at the Supreme Court. Soerel also discussed the recording with the Public Prosecutor and thoroughly discredited it, according to his lawyers.
The Public Prosecutor considers the conversation with De Vries as supporting evidence for testimony made by Holleeder's sisters Astrid and Sonja. According to the Prosecutor, the recording and testimony together are proof that Holleeder was part of a criminal organization. The Public Prosecutor will start its conclusion in the trial against Holleeder on Thursday, and a sentence demand is expected on March 1st.
According to NOS judiciary editor Remco Andringa, what's happening here with the De Vries recording is a "kind of media war". The recording is to be played on RTL Boulevard with De Vries and John van den Heuvel, who both have close ties with Astrid and Sonja Holleeder. "This seems like a last attempt to influence the image around Holleeder, namely to make it really clear that he is a liar", Andringa said, according to the broadcaster.