The brother of key witness Nabil B., who was shot and killed in Amsterdam on Thursday morning, chose not to accept all the protection measures the Dutch authorities offered him, spokesperson Ties Kortman of the Public Prosecutor said, according to newspaper AD.
Astrid Holleeder - sister of criminal kingpin Willem Holleeder - fiercely criticized the way she, her sister Sonja and Sandra den Hartog are being protected after testifying against her brother. In her new book Dagboek van een getuige, she writes that their protection against possible retaliation by Willem Holleeder, fails on all sides, NU.nl reports.
The three women have been in witness protection since they gave testimonies against Holleeder.
The court in Amsterdam sentenced four suspects to life in prison in the appeal of the so-called Passage process, which revolves around a number of Amsterdam underworld assassinations. Dino Soerel, Jesse R., Mohammed R. and Siegfried S. will all spend the rest of their lives in prison, the court ruled, NOS reports.
When this case was first tried in 2013, Soerel was sentenced to only six months in prison for money laundering, he was acquitted for his role in the assassinations. The other three already had life sentences hanging over their heads.
People with information about the downing of MH17 who are afraid to come forward, may be able to count on witness protection, Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said on Nieuwsuur on Wednesday. Should there be cause, witnesses could qualify for a new identity or lower sentences.