Courts and Crime

Criminal ready to exploit online selling of police regalia

By Maya Dupont

AMSTERDAM – Police officers have been selling their old uniforms, sergeant stripes and handcuffs on Marktplaats, the famed Dutch online store.

Consequently, criminals are set to take advantage.

The national police force issued a warning against the exploitation of
these state goods to over five thousand officers in the force.

Old uniforms that are no longer in use are to be returned to the
state or destroyed, the Algemene Dagblad reported.

It is not uncommon for criminals to disguise themselves as a police
officer in order to commit a crime. Truck drivers are often pulled
over by these faux police officers and are robbed of their goods.

Also, the men who shot innocent stand-byer Danny Gubbels at the
protest on the caravan site in Breda were also said to be wearing
police uniforms.

Research by the National Investigation Unit has indicated that police
uniforms and other such goods have indeed been bought by known
criminals.

Woman accused of stalking ex-lover

AMSTERDAM – A 42-year old Dutch woman has been accused of stalking her ex-boyfriend via telephone calls, text and emails, according to Dutch media reports.

The claim has been backed by a log report of all the calls made between her and the man, which amount to a striking total of 65,000 calls in the past year.

But the man denies he was in a relationship with the accused.

Following a raid on the woman’s home the police took her into custody and seized multiple mobile phones and computers.

“This is not an excessive number,” the unnamed woman said in apparent defense, according to Nicolette Stoel, a spokesperson for The Hague Prosecution office.

The result of the preliminary hearing ended with the woman being granted bail on the condition that she leaves the man alone.

However, hours following her conditional release she allegedly called him again.

After breaking the conditions of her release she has been brought back into custody and is now waiting the new date for her hearing, which will be overseen by three separate judges.

Explosion damages high-profile Amsterdam courthouse

By Piotr Wojciak

AMSTERDAM: A blast of unspecified origin hit the main court complex in business district in South Amsterdam on early Wednesday morning.

The explosion caused extensive damage, but no injuries were reported, police said.

The perpetrators remain at large.

“In the morning of September 21, around 2:30 AM, there was an explosion in the court building,” police said.

As a result, several floors in the tower E of the building became damaged. The details of the accident remain unknown.

According to eyewitness accounts two men were seen driving off on a motorbike or a scooter immediately after the blast, NOS television reported.

Dutch media speculate that the explosion was caused by a missile attack.

Police and forensic experts are yet to confirm this scenario. In a similar incident four years ago, Amsterdam High Security Court Room was severally damaged in a mortar assault.

Despite the incident, the court continues hearings as normal, Court’s spokesman announced earlier today. “The court has not received any threats and there have been no injuries”, reads his official statement.

Ivo Opstelten, Minister of Security and Justice, has expressed his condemnation of the attack, calling it an “attack on the state’s rule of law”.

Opstelten said he stood ready to solve the mystery behind the explosion, as well as to apprehend the perpetrators.

The Courthouse at Parnassusweg was the stage for this year’s prominent trial of a populist politician Geert Wilders. He was acquitted of inciting Anti-Muslim feelings last June.

Proceedings underway for Joram van Der Sloot trial

By Stella Toonen

AMSTERDAM – Preparations for the criminal proceedings against Joran Van Der Sloot, accused of murdering Stephany Flores (21) in a hotel room in May 2010, started in the Peruvian capital, Lima Monday.

The Peruvian Court of Justice has yet to announce full details of the trail proceedings.

The defense teams for both Van der Sloot and Flores attended the meeting.

Edward Alvarez, lawyer of the Flores family, said the indictment involves both murder and robbery charges, which could lead to life imprisonment  sentence.

Máximo Altez, the defense attorney for 24-year-old Dutchman Van der Sloot, claims that the murder occurred under emotional circumstances.

Should the judge agree, such a scenario could significantly lower the punishment to between 6 and 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors have requested a thirty-year imprisonment sentence for Van Der Sloot.

Flores’ family believes this is too lenient.

Alvarez is pleased that the case will start soon.

In the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio, he complained that Ministry of Justice officials had been slow in dealing with handling the case

According to Peruvian law, suspects can only be kept in jail without a verdict for one and a half years.

That would mean Van Der Sloot will have to be released in December this year, unless he gets convicted.

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