Local man turns himself into Amsterdam police after Pinkpop fatal crash

The 34-year-old driver of a van which ploughed into a group of people leaving the Pinkpop music festival in the early hours of Monday, killing one, has turned himself over to the police. The man, who comes from Heerlen, near the location of the festival, is suspected of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter, police said at a news conference on Monday morning. One person was killed and three very seriously injured in the incident, which took place on a public road near one of the Pinkpop campsites. As yet, it is unclear if the suspect drove deliberately into the victims. The 35-year-old man who died was a volunteer at the festival, the Telegraaf reported. He and two of the injured come from Heerlen as well. The fourth person comes from Landgraaf, where the festival was being held. Helicopters The suspect drove off after the incident and police helicopters were brought in to hunt for him. He turned himself in to Amsterdam later on Monday morning and told police officers where they could find the van, the Telegraaf said. The public prosecutor declined to tell reporters where the van had been found or if the driver had a motive. All options are being considered, including an accident, he told reporters at the press conference. The suspect will be handed over to Limburg police later on Monday. RTL Nieuws named the man who died as 35-year-old Gilles Boux de Casson. ‘We are devastated,’ Johan de Niet, of the Poppodium Nieuwe Nor organisation which provides volunteers for festivals. ‘He was a huge music lover and a great colleague.’ RTL Nieuws said later on Monday the van had been found in Heerlen with a large dent on the front and a flat tyre.  More >

'Escalating trade conflict would hit NL'

Protectionism, possibly culminating into a trade war between the United States, China and the EU, does pose a real risk to the projected economic developments in the Netherlands, the Dutch central bank said on Monday. Additional import tariffs would weigh on international trade and dampen confidence, thereby putting a drag on the world economy, the central bank said in its latest economic forecasts. If the trade conflict escalates, ‘the Dutch economy will be severely affected, with annual GDP growth 0.5 percentage points down in all three years,’ the bank said. However, without a trade war, the Dutch economy is set to grow 2.5%, 2.2% and 1.9% over the next three years, the new forecasts said. ‘All signs point to a sustained boom. With corporate utilisation rates high and labour markets tightening further, businesses in a growing number of sectors are hampered by shortages of staff and other resources.’ In particular, this could mean disposable income rising by an average of 3%  in the between now and 2020, the central bank said. Read the English summary  More >

Sharleyne's mother faces 10 years in jail

A gavel in a courtroom. The mother of an eight-year-old girl who died after falling from a block of flats in Hoogeveen in 2015 should be jailed for 10 years for her murder, the public prosecution department said on Monday. The public prosecutor says Hélène J, first tried to strangle her daughter Sharleyne and then threw her over the balustrade on the 10th floor of the block of flats where she lived. Expert witnesses have told the court there is evidence of strangulation but that it was not fatal. J continues to insist she knows nothing of how her daughter came to die and alcohol tests prove that she had drunk a considerable amount on the evening in question. On Friday, the father of Sharleyne, demanded €100,000 in compensation from the mother in court. Victor Remouchamps wants compensation for post-traumatic stress and his efforts in bringing the case to court. He had separated from the mother in 2011 but has claimed he warned youth care services before the child’s death that she was in danger and should be removed from her mother's care. Initially, the public prosecution service had not found enough evidence to prosecute.  More >

Court outlaws Satudarah biker club

A court has shut down motorcycle club Satudarah with immediate effect as a result of its criminal links and 'culture of violence'. The district court in The Hague ruled that the club's activities violated public order 'in a manner that disrupts or can disrupt society'. The ban was extended to the affiliated clubs Supportcrew 999 and Saudarah, which judges said were inextricably linked with Satudarah. Around 100 members of the gang attended the high-security complex at Schiphol airport to hear the judgment. It is the second time in recent years that a court has banned membership of a motorcycle club, following a ruling against the Bandidos club last year. The public prosecution service asked the court to ban Satudarah last September on the grounds that it 'cultivates a violent image that is used for blackmail and intimidation'. Several club members have convictions for violence and possessing illegal weapons. Prosecutors said the club was systematically involved in criminal activities and had created a subculture of lawlessness for its members. Satudarah was banned in Germany in 2015 when a court said it constituted a threat to society. The ban imposed in The Hague will take effect straight away even though the club has said it intends to appeal.    More >

Dutch to pull soldiers out of Mali in 2019

The Dutch cabinet has agreed to expand its mission in Afghanistan and to pull out of Mali, where it has been active since 2014. Some 60 soldiers will now be sent to the north of Afghanistan on the request of Nato to help Germany train special Afghan forces and six police advisors will be seconded to the Nato mission in Kabul, defence minister Ank Bijleveld has told MPs. The Netherlands already has around 100 soldiers stationed in Afghanistan to train local police and armed forces. The Dutch mission to Afghanistan will now be extended up to and including 2021, Bijleveld said. The Netherlands will also continue to support the 'strengthened' Nato forces in Lithuania with 270 soldiers. Dutch soldiers currently serving in Mali will return to the Netherlands in May 2019. Some 240 Dutch soldiers are currently with the much criticised UN peacekeeping effort in the land-locked west African country.  More >

Dutch clear way for post consolidation

The postal delivery market in the Netherlands has been shrinking for around 10% a year and now the Dutch government has decided to allow delivery firms to merge and consolidate to keep services affordable. This means that former state monopoly PostNL could now join forces with its private sector rival Sandd, which has made major inroads into the business mail sector in recent years. 'The shrinking postal market presents major social and economic challenges,' junior economic affairs minister Mona Keizer said in a briefing to MPs. On the one hand, jobs need to be protected, and on the other the rules need to be changed to keep post affordable, she said. The number of letters posted has shrunk from five billion a year in 2009 to 2.5 billion now, Keizer said. While competition is important, it should no longer be a goal in itself, Keizer said. The current situation has led to 'two or three postal delivery workers walking through the same street, each with increasingly empty bags.' Rules on working conditions, the number of delivery days and letter box distribution will remain unchanged, Keizer said.  More >

Heineken puts an extra €50m into UK pubs

Dutch brewing giant Heineken is to invest €50m into its British pub chain Star Pubs & Bars this year, creating 1,000 new jobs, news agency Reuters said on Monday. The money will be spend on roughly 25% of the 2,900 pubs that Heineken owns and takes total investment in British pub refurbishment to €160m over the past five years, Reuters said. In mid 2017, Heineken completed the acquisition of 1,900 pubs from Punch Tavern's  for €360m. The deal gave Heineken control of about 6% of the British pub market, making the Dutch company the UK’s third-largest pub operator, after Greene King and Enterprise Inns.  More >