Opinion: Worrisome questions (Bada Bing case)

POSTED: 02/17/15 12:22 AM

A serious accusation against the Prosecution Department surfaced in the “Bada Bing” trial that, if true, can rock the integrity of the Public Prosecutor’s Office at its very foundation.

Cor Merx, the attorney for Jaap van den Heuvel, stated that the Public Prosecutor unlawfully deprived Jaap van den Heuvel of his freedom by falsely adding to its accusations that van den Heuvel is a member of a criminal organization. This, according to Merx. was concocted by the Public Prosecutor for the sole purpose of placing van den Heuvel in pre-trial custody. The other charges against van den Heuvel did not allow the prosecutor to legally place van den Heuvel in pre-trial custody. To be able to get van den Heuvel in pre-trial custody required a crime that is threatened with a punishment of 4 years or more. That is the reason the prosecutor accused van der Heuvel of being a member of a criminal organization.

When the case came to trial to everyone’s surprise the Public Prosecutor informed the court that they were dropping the accusation that van den Heuvel was a member of a criminal organization.  In the meantime however van den Heuvel had already sat 18 days in pre-trial custody as a result of this accusation.

Interesting to note, according to the attorney, that there is no file – at least none was presented – regarding the charge that van den Heuvel is a member of a criminal organization and who the members of this criminal organization are. The question was also raised how the Judge of Instruction at the time could have granted the request of the prosecutor to place van den Heuvel in pre-trial detention without a complete file on this component of the case.

The questions raised surrounding the placing of van den Heuvel in pre-trial detention based on the accusation that he is a member of a criminal organization and subsequently announcing when the trial started that this charge is being dropped by the prosecutor is worrisome and needs to be addressed. Not so long ago a judge accused the prosecution department of applying class justice. If the questions raised now surrounding the pre-trial detention of van den Heuvel are not properly addressed and clarified dark clouds will be looming again over this department.

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