Summary of the Advocate-General's advisory opinion in the case of the acquittal of Dutch businessman Guus K. of all charges of illegal transport of weapons and war crimes

05/01
2010
Summary of the Advocate-General’s advisory opinion in the case of the acquittal of Dutch businessman Guus K. of all charges of illegal transport of weapons and war crimes

The Hague, 5 januari 2010 - On 5 January 2010, the Advocate-General at the Supreme Court of The Netherlands, P.C. Vegter, LLM, rendered his advisory opinion in the case of the acquittal of Dutch businessman Guus K.

On 7 June 2006, the Hague District Court sentenced Guus K. to 8 years’ imprisonment for violating prohibitions on the supply of weapons to Liberia four times in 2001, 2002 and 2003. The Court acquitted the defendant of charges referring to a number of actions that have been penalized under the Criminal Law in Wartime Act. The decision in English can be retrieved on www.rechtspraak.nl via number AY5160.
Both the defendant and the public prosecutor appealed against this sentence. The National Criminal Investigation Department still continued their investigations during the appeal. The examining magistrate also questioned various witnesses.
On 10 March 2008, the Hague Court of Appeal acquitted the Dutch businessman Guus K. of all charges. The decision in English can be retrieved on www.rechtspraak.nl via number LJN: BC7373.

The proceedings at the Supreme Court
The Public Prosecution Office lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court. On behalf of the defendant, his counsels R.J. Baumgardt and I.N. Weski, lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court as well.

In the cassation procedure the Public Prosecution Office brought forward as grounds for an appeal that the Hague Court of Appeal had not sufficiently motivated its rejection of the demand of the Public Prosecution Office to have witnesses A03 and A04 heard by the examining magistrate anonymously.

The Court of Appeal’s decision to reject the demand was based on the question of whether or not the requested further investigation was “needed? as provided for by law.

In his advisory opinion to the Supreme Court, the Advocate-General at the Supreme Court P.C. Vegter, LLM, advised the Court to reject the complaint of the Public Prosecution Office. Furthermore, he advised the Supreme Court not to deliberate on the cassation grounds brought forward by the counsels of the defendant.

The course of events
If the Supreme Court will take over the Advocate-General’s advisory opinion, the acquittal of the defendant will become irrevocable.

Conclusions
The advisory opinion of the Advocate-General is an independent legal advise to the Supreme Court. The Advocate-General forms part of the Office of the Attorney General of the Supreme Court of The Netherlands. The Office of the Attorney General of the Supreme Court of The Netherlands can only comment on a case through its advisory opinion. For this reason, no further comments can be given.

Datum: dinsdag 5 januari 2010, 12:33
Bron: Rechtspraak.nl
Categorie: Algemeen
Tags: Heard, Liberia

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