Judges and prosecutors in private conversation about tackling an untouchable criminal family

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In West Brabant, judges and public prosecutors held deliberations at a closed meeting about how to deal with ‘an untouchable family’ that is allegedly involved in drugs. It turns out that a long series of personal photos of that family had been presented there. A month later there was a police raid on the family. Judges and prosecutors viewed Facebook photos of adults and children, their homes and their cars. Not long after, one of the judges present was involved in the criminal case about some of the people shown. The court in Den Bosch is now investigating what exactly happened.

By @Wim van de Pol

On 7 June 2017, the court of Zeeland-West-Brabant organized a ‘mini-symposium’ in Bergen op Zoom about organized crime in the district. Speakers included the chief public prosecutor in the district and the president of the court. The symposium was closed, intended only for mayors and ‘professionals’ in the criminal justice chain. It was all about repression. The theme was: ‘Undermining in Zeeland and Brabant, investigation, prosecution and trial’.

The idea was to keep lawyers, media or other outsiders out of it, and they succeeded.


A PowerPoint presentation that Crimesite has in its hands clearly shows the book De Achterkant van Nederland, by Volkskrant journalist Jan Tromp and Pieter Tops of the Police Academy. Their analysis of the interdependence of organized crime in the Brabant neighborhoods clearly appealed to the imagination of the Public Prosecution Service and the judges in Zeeland-West Brabant who organized the meeting. At the time, Tromp and Tops were firmly on the road with the launch – including in de Volkskrant – of their concept of “undermining”, but were also criticized.

In January of 2017, de Volkskrant published a number of prepublications from the book De Achterkant van Nederland. Tops and Tromp interviewed (then) public prosecutor Greetje Bos, of the Zeeland-West Brabant public prosecutor’s office.

Shining example

The symposium was a few months later.

The case of one West Brabant family from Waalwijk was presented in the PowerPoint presentation as a shining example of criminals who could not be easily dealt with.

This family was described as an ‘(un)touchable family’. Fourteen private photos of this family were presented, showing people at parties, weddings, holidays and in the home. Most of the photos were taken from Facebook. Faces were clearly visible and names were legible to visitors. Minor children were also shown.

Each photo stated that the family would deal in soft and synthetic drugs (“syndru”).


At the time of the symposium (June 7, 2017) it was crystal clear that action would be taken against the family in the short term. And that also happened: a month later, on July 11, 2017. A large amount of cash was found during that raid.

Based on this, two suspects were convicted of money laundering on July 22, 2020.

Letter from President

At that time, the suspects did not yet know that a symposium had taken place in which they had played the leading role and that a judge who had attended had been involved in their case.

That only changed two years later when the appeal was pending. Out of the blue, the family’s lawyer, Yehudi Moszkowicz, received a letter from the president of the court in mid-2022, in which he confessed the facts during the symposium.

The president apparently had not previously seen the need to inform Moszkowicz.

Not out of the blue

Still, that revealing letter may not have come entirely out of the blue.

The NRC had already reported about the symposium in December 2021. Sharp comments were made in that article because it had been established that the mini-symposium had also discussed with judges the campsite “Fort Oranje” in Zundert. And that was before judges had to rule on the closure of that campground (which would be a hotbed of crime).

Clean ship

The president of the court in Breda apparently deemed it necessary to make a clean sweep before hearing the appeal against the suspects from the ‘untouchable’ family.

Lawyer Yehudi Moszkowicz has now asked the court in Den Bosch to declare the Public Prosecution Service inadmissible. He believes that his clients’ interests have been seriously harmed. Moszkowicz:

By organizing this presentation and interweaving an ongoing investigation into it, the Public Prosecution Service has approached not only criminal courts, but also mayors, administrative judges, and municipal and police officials, to conduct this investigation through all kinds of channels and means and to ensure that the suspects would be charged and punished.

‘Judge must be neutral’

According to Moszkowicz, the Public Prosecution Service also tried to arouse bias among judges who might be involved in the case. In the end, that was at least one. Moszkowicz:

The judge who was present should, of course, when he became involved, withdraw or excuse himself from hearing the case as soon as it became clear to him or her that this case would be involved. That did not happen, while it must be absolutely evident that a judge (and also an examining magistrate) is neutral.

To sort

The Court of Appeal of Den Bosch decided last week that a commissioner should now find out exactly what happened at the symposium in Bergen op Zoom. The court wants to know what the program was and who, in particular which members of the judiciary, were present. The court also wants to know what information has been shared and what reports have been made of it.

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