Docuseries about the largest liquidation process ever in the Netherlands: Passage Process

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Pact with the Devil

Docuseries about the largest liquidation process ever in the Netherlands: Passage Process

On March 1, Pact with the Devil will be released on Prime Video, a six-part documentary series about the most extensive and longest-running liquidation case ever in the Netherlands: Passage. It is the precursor to the Marengo trial, and this case also still raises many questions. Was the process fair? Or was the judicial process ‘too big to fail’? And is the use of key witnesses justified in tackling serious crime?

Pact with the Devil offers a unique insight into the deals made with the key witnesses and what drove the government to do business with criminals.

Passage process

The ‘Passage Trial’ revolves around a total of seven murders, five attempted murders and ten suspects and lasted no less than ten years: from 2007 to 2017. The trial is characterized by commotion, arguments and distrust in the courtroom, the great impact that the media has on the case, how the spirit of Willem Holleeder hangs over the trial and the doubts whether the Public Prosecution Service and the judges are approaching the trial in a fair manner.

At the beginning of 2000, it was not possible to roll up criminal organizations and track down the perpetrators of the murders. This causes great despair among the police and the judiciary. They decide to work with a key witness: Peter la Serpe. In the Higher Appeal, after seven years, another key witness comes forward: suspect Fred Ros after he was told his 30-year prison sentence. The fact that both key witnesses admit to having committed liquidations themselves and therefore have blood on their hands makes the approach even more controversial: the Public Prosecution Service makes deals with murderers. The case is extra complicated because the two key witnesses contradict each other. How reliable are the statements of Peter la Serpe and Fred Ros? It leads to intense confrontations in the courtroom between the parties to the proceedings, the Public Prosecution Service, lawyers and key witnesses.

The Public Prosecution Service and the lawyers of the suspects are diametrically opposed to each other. The statements of these key witnesses ultimately lead to the most severe sentences, including four life sentences, for, among others, intended client Dino Soerel in the Higher Appeal. He is the only one in the Netherlands whose acquittal was commuted to life in prison following a statement by a controversial key witness.

In production since 2021

The series has been in development since 2021 to shed light on the case from different sides. Involved judges, lawyers, public prosecutors, detectives, crime journalists, former criminals, criminal law experts and outgoing Minister of Justice and Security Dilan Yesilgöz will speak. The daughter of Dino Soerel, who has been sentenced to life, also speaks out for the first time about the impact the conviction has on her life. Since 2021, Dino Soerel has submitted requests to participate in this documentary. To date, Dino Soerel has not been allowed to have contact with the documentary makers.

Producer: Sarphati Media Productions / Erica Reijmerink
Editor-in-chief: Erica Reijmerink
Director: Peet Gelderblom
Executive producer: Harold Lamme
Can be seen exclusively on Prime Video from March 1.

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