Opinion: Willem Holleeder

POSTED: 10/23/11 11:23 AM

Willem Holleeder is not a nice man. As a teenager he was a member of a gang, together with Cor van Hout, that evicted squatters at the request of real estate owners in a less than civilized manner. In 1983 he kidnapped beer brewer Freddy Heineken and his driver Ab Doderer. He collected more than $22 million in ransom. Later he also collected an 11-year prison sentence for the same feat. In 2007, Holleeder was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment for extortion. Currently he is her Majesty’s guest at the high security prison Nieuw Vosseveld.

These facts establish that Holleeder is, indeed, not a very nice man. Ironically, his father used to work at the Heineken brewery in Amsterdam. More ironically, he was fired from his job, apparently because he could not stay away from the product and became an alcoholic.

Next week the movie The Heineken Kidnapping will premiere in Dutch cinemas. The movie’s director is appropriately named Maarten Treurniet. Holleeder is not amused by Treurniet’s handiwork. He dragged him to court in an attempt to have the movie banned.

Why? Because Holleeder feels that the film director portrays him in the movie as sadistic and psychopathic. He is also not pleased that the actor that plays the fictional character Rem in the movie is a Holleeder lookalike.

Holleeder’s soul mate during the kidnapping, Cor van Hout, is no longer around to make a fuss about the movie, because he was executed by other criminals in 2003.

The Volkskrant reported yesterday that Holleeder accepts the court ruling, and that he had filed his lawsuit only to point out that there are factual mistakes in the movie.

Showing his unknown nicer side, Holleeder said via his attorney that he congratulated the filmmaker with the outcome of the case and he even wished him a lot of success.

Holleeder is serving the final stages of his 9-year extortion verdict. Maybe he’ll pay Treurniet a visit after his release.

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