Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hells Angels become untouchable

This blog recently featured a post on the Danish Hells Angels. The Dutch Chapter of the Hells Angels are the HQ for the European Hells Angels organisation. The Hells Angels are believed to be an important crime syndicated trading in drugs, involved in prostitution and in assassinations.

The last few years the Office of the Public Prosecutor (OM)has made very serious efforts to dissolve the organisation and have it declared outside of the law.

These efforts are now coming to an end with the Dutch Supreme Court coming to the aid of the Hells Angels:
Hells Angels win another Dutch legal battle

The Dutch Supreme Court refused Friday to outlaw a local branch of the Hells Angles in the motorcycle club's latest legal victory.

The country's highest judicial panel said prosecutors failed to prove their claim that the Harlingen Hells Angels chapter in the northern Netherlands is a threat to public order and should be disbanded.

The Supreme Court's ruling upheld two lower courts' decisions.

It said the club may be involved in undesirable and possibly criminal activities, but they are not serious enough to merit a total ban.

A ban "is a serious infringement of the freedom to gather that is at the foundation of a democratic state," the court said in its written ruling.

The court also rejected prosecutors' attempts to link the Harlingen chapter to alleged criminal activity of Hells Angels elsewhere in the Netherlands and the rest of the world, saying links between the local chapter and other groups were not close enough.

Dutch Hells Angels have won a string of cases against prosecutors trying to ban them, but Friday's was the first in the country's highest court.

A parliamentary inquiry in 1995 found the Hells Angels was a criminal organization involved in the drug trade and smuggling women for prostitution, but no action was taken to ban the group.

The Harlingen chapter's club house was raided in 2005 as part of a large-scale investigation into allegations of extortion, intimidation, weapons and drugs trafficking.

That investigation followed the murder of three members of the gang in the south of the Netherlands in 2004, allegedly by fellow bikers.
The Hells Angels in the court room reacted with great show of happiness to the verdict of the judge falling in each others arms like Russian soldiers in a 1940ies Soviet War movie.

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