Court tells tight-lipped suspects to speak up about fatal assault in Mallorca
On Tuesday, halfway through the first day of the trial around Carlo Heuvelman’s fatal beating in Mallorca, the court in Lelystad urged the nine suspects to be honest about what happened. “Be a man and tell me what happened,” a judge said after reviewing the file and looking at the images and a 3D reconstruction. During they day’s proceedings, the judge sent one of the suspects back to jail for at least the duration of the trial after violating the terms of his release.
The trial revolves around two brawls, one of which resulted in the death of Heuvelman on the Spanish island of Mallorca. The 27-year-old man from Waddinxveen got seriously hurt in a fight on 14 July 2021, just after 2:00 a.m., on the boulevard of the seaside resort of El Arenal. He ended up unconscious on the street in front of club De Bierexpress, after which he was allegedly kicked several times. Heuvelman died of his injuries in hospital on 18 July 2021.
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) accused the suspects Sanil B. (20), Mees T. (19), and Hein B. (19) of manslaughter. The trio deny any form of violence against Heuvelman. The other suspects have also not been able or willing to say what exactly happened to the victim.
According to the court, it is established that no one other than the group of suspects had a violent confrontation with Heuvelman and his friends. The court does not believe that no one hurt Heuvelman or saw it happen. Never finding out what happened would be “terrible” for Heuvelman’s relatives, one of the judges said. He also pointed out the consequences for the suspects themselves. “This will knaw on your conscience the rest of your life.”
“It is unusual but more than justified in this case,” said lawyer Edwin Bosch, counsel for the next of kin. “It cannot be that all these boys know nothing. Then such a call is in order as far as I am concerned.”
Bosch sees the judge’s appeal “as a helping hand” for the relatives. “The judge has told the suspects that they themselves stated that they had fought and that no one else was present. Then people from the group must have done it, or some suspects know who did it. In the coming days, if all those cases are dealt with separately, it is time to open up to the court.”
Footage shown in court
The trial started with the court showing images recorded in front of De Bierexpress. In the club, Hilversum residents Lars van den H. (20) and Daan van S. (19) argued with other Dutch tourists abou the available seats. The owner eventually kicked one of them out.
At the first fight outside on the boulevard, Lars and Daan’s friends gathered together, and a victim fell to the ground, after which he was kicked. Another victim suffered a broken nose in this incident. The second brawl further down the boulevard resulted in Heuvelman’s death.
The authorities have no images of the fight itself, only recordings of Heuvelman already lying on the ground. The court quoted statements given by people who witnessed the fight. According to them, several young men beat Heuvelman in the face with their fists and kicked him several times in the head after he fell to the ground.
Suspect remanded back into pre-trial custody
The court also remanded Mees T. back into pre-trial custody on Tuesday. The Hilversum man was alleged to have violated the conditions of his release - he used drugs and went abroad with his friends this past summer.
According to the probation service, to whom Mees T. had to report after being released from custody in January, he made “a nonchalant impression” and acted “slightly defensive.” He was angry at being prosecuted and appeared to be “underestimating” the charges, the probation service said.
T. stated on Tuesday that his attitude stemmed from nerves and stress. He said he smoked cannabis “to find peace” and admitted to having made “a stupid choice.”
The court rejected his request to remain free from custody. The court said honoring T.’s request would not be taking the court itself, society, and the other suspects who did comply with the conditions seriously. The court called T.’s reasons for his behavior “not convincing” enough. He will remain in custody until the verdict on November 18.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times