Dutch mobster sentenced to life for ordering gangland hits

June 24, 2022 GMT

BRUSSELS (AP) — An appeals court sentenced the Netherlands’ best-known mobster — a career criminal nicknamed “The Nose” — to life imprisonment Friday for ordering a string of underworld hits.

Willem Holleeder, 64, will spend the rest of his life behind bars, the maximum possible sentence, after the verdict by Amsterdam’s court of appeal. It upheld a lower court’s convictions and life sentence dating back to 2019.

Holleeder rose to prominence in the Netherlands for his role in the 1983 kidnapping of beer magnate Freddy Heineken, a crime that was later turned into a film starring Rutger Hauer.

The appeals court convicted Holleeder of crimes including ordering five murders between 2002-2006, including the 2003 shooting of one of his accomplices in the Heineken kidnapping, Cor van Hout.

Witnesses who testified against Holleeder included his own two sisters. Holleeder’s lawyers had urged acquittal, saying there was no direct evidence tying him to the crimes.

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The judges “took into account the cold and unscrupulous way in which Holleeder, together with others in a criminal organization, decided on life and death,” the appeals court said in a statement.

“His choices were motivated by money or to prevent someone else from retaliating against him or talking to the police.”