The lawyers of the suspect in a money laundering case surrounding Willem Holleeder’s Heineken ransom have challenged the chairman of the court. Follow the Money writes that this judge has a relationship with the actor who played Peter R. de Vries in the series Judas, Ronald Top.
Astrid and Sonja
The lawyers of suspect Marcel Kaatee believe that judge Eva Slager has therefore given ‘the appearance of bias’. Peter R. de Vries was the counselor of sisters Astrid and Sonja Holleeder. The basis of the evidence in the lawsuit against Kaatee are (partly new) statements by the two sisters.
Kaatee owns two arcades in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Justice thinks that Willem Holleeder is the real owner. Kaatee was acquitted of money laundering in 2009, but after the court convicted Willem Holleeder for murder in 2020, the judiciary started a new case against Kaatee.
On Tuesday, October 17, there was a hearing in the money laundering case against Kaatee. During the hearing, actor Ronald Top appeared at the back of the room to watch and listen to the case of his life partner and court president Eva Slager.
Top plays Peter R. de Vries in the first season of the Videoland series Judas, based on the book of the same name by Astrid Holleeder. De Vries advised the Holleeder sisters in giving incriminating testimony against their brother Willem and had business agreements with Sonja Holleeder about the film rights to his book about the Heineken kidnapping.
Counsel for the suspect Kaatee believe that Slager now has at least ‘the appearance of partiality’ against him. Shortly after the hearing in October, they first asked for an explanation by letter. Lawyer Han Jahae says: ‘She proposed an informal meeting, without Kaatee. Everyone is allowed to be there, except the person who is involved. That feeds the suspicion, the idea that this whole case is an imposed pando to get him convicted.’ Therefore, a request for recusal was submitted to the Amsterdam District Court to obtain other judges. The recusal chamber will make its decision on December 13.
Jahae had previously been annoyed about the course of events surrounding the case. The Public Prosecution Service appeared to know earlier than the defense which judges would hear the case.
Furthermore, according to him, Judge Slager expressed himself in an unusual manner about the indictment. She asked whether the Public Prosecution Service was considering adding other criminal money flows to the suspicion, such as ‘the contaminated assets of Willem Endstra’. A judge should not rule on the indictment in this way, Jahae believes.
In 2019, the court that convicted Holleeder wrote that it had established that the gambling halls did not belong to Kaatee, but actually belonged to Willem Holleeder. Afterwards, the Holleeder sisters also made new statements specifically about the arcades, and the Public Prosecution Service decided to start a new case against Kaatee.
Marcel Kaatee believes that a blackmail attempt was made against him in 2020 by a public prosecutor. A prosecutor suggested that he dismiss the case if Kaatee made incriminating statements about Holleeder. This week Kaatee writes about this in his blog.
The investigations into the Heineken ransom and the battle between the municipality of Amsterdam and the Public Prosecution Service and Marcel Kaatee are described in detail in the book: The Heineken Ransom: how the millions are still haunting.