The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Gangster loses bid to block film portraying his kidnapping of beer tycoon Heineken

  • Print

AMSTERDAM - A Dutch court Friday rejected a suit brought by one of the Netherlands' best-known gangsters seeking to block the release of a film about the 1983 kidnapping of beer tycoon Freddy Heineken.

Willem Holleeder, dubbed "The Nose" in the Dutch media, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for his role in kidnapping Heineken and his chauffeur and holding them captive in soundproof cells in an Amsterdam warehouse for three weeks until his family paid a $36 million ransom.

Though all four kidnappers were eventually caught, about 20 per cent of the money was never recovered.

Holleeder's lawyers claimed the movie "The Heineken Kidnapping," starring Rutger Hauer as the victim, would damage Holleeder's image by making him appear more sadistic than he really is.

In a summary ruling, judge Wil Tonkens of the Amsterdam District Court rejected the suit without comment and said she will publish her reasoning Oct. 28.

Lawyers for producers IDTV Film had argued the movie is a fictionalized version of events.

Holleeder, now 53, is not named in the movie, and filmmakers said they merged his character with that of another of the four real-life kidnappers — although one of the actors resembles Holleeder physically, including the prominent nose that is the source of his nickname.

The defence lawyers also argued Holleeder has little reputation left to lose.

He launched the suit from his cell in a high-security prison where he is serving a new nine-year sentence on unrelated extortion charges. One of his victims was real estate magnate Willem Endstra, who had given a statement to police about a shakedown by Holleeder. Endstra's subsequent murder in 2003 has not been solved.

IDTV lawyer Jens van den Brink said halting the €4.7 million ($6.4 million) production just days before its Oct. 24 release would have been financially ruinous.

Heineken's family also declined to co-operate with the filmmakers. He had inherited a small family concern and built it into the world's third-largest brewer. After the kidnapping, Heineken became more reclusive and was believed to be the Netherlands' richest man, worth $3.6 billion when he died of pneumonia in 2002.

The two other living kidnappers have also said they don't want the film to go forward. The fourth, Cor van Hout, was slain in an unsolved gangland killing in 2003.

An American film based on the Heineken kidnapping also is under negotiation with a different production company.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

HSC ready for Ebola

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(Standup photo)- Humming Around- A female ruby -throated hummingbird fly's through the bee bomb  flowers Friday at the Assiniboine Park English Garden- Nectar from flowers are their main source of food. Hummingbirds wings can beat as fast as 75x times second. Better get a glimpse of them soon the birds fly far south for the winter - from Mexico to South America- JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Sept 10, 2009
  • Two Canada geese fly Wednesday afternoon at Oak Hammock Marsh- Front bird is banded for identification- Goose Challenge Day 3- - Apr 30, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Are you still on the Bombers' and Jets' bandwagons?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google