Some say that the Dutch justice system is weak, soft even. As is the case in most parts of the civilized world, we are frequently outraged by reports of criminals getting away with absurdly short jail sentences, or even none at all. So here’s more oil on the fire for those who want to go back to the days of brutal corporal punishment: it appears that even those who are put away can have things their way. Willem ‘de Neus’ Holleeder may be locked up, but behind bars, he is making sure things are done his way. It appears that the former criminal mastermind is entitling himself to some unearned privileges.
What kind of privileges you ask? Think of having his dermatologist providing him with the specific clothes he wants. Or having a bakery fix him some of that awesome salt-free bread, because who likes the taste of prison-bread anyway? Like a rebellious toddler, Holleeder is basically screwing with people just for the sake of letting them know that he has power.
For those who don’t know, Willem Holleeder is perhaps the most famous of all Dutch criminals. Having been convicted on many charges including extortion and ordering liquidations (snappy infographic right here), his pièce de résistance is still the kidnapping of Freddy Heineken back in 1983. Together with a small band of thugs, Holleeder plucked Heineken off the streets of Amsterdam and locked him up in a not-so luxurious warehouse to be released for ransom. All the kidnappers were eventually caught, most of them didn’t do so well after that. Holleeder was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Holleeder has been in and out of prison ever since and is currently living like a king in the extra security prison in Vught (you know, if kings happened to live behind bars). You won’t hear reports like that about Joran van der Sloot, him being locked up in a maximum security prison in Peru and all that.
All joking aside though, the recent diva behavior of the Dutch delinquent is reason for worry. More than just being picky about his diet and wardrobe (apparently, the phrase “on bread and water” never caught on to him), it is suspected that Holleeder is able to communicate with the outside world. Those who have testified against Holleeder in the past fear that he is plotting revenge from the inside. Holleeder is currently awaiting the trial for his alleged involvement in the murders of Kees Houtman (2005) and Thomas van der Bijl (2006).