Two officers in Mitch Henriquez case appearing anonymously in court

Victims of Alphen mall shooting claim sue gunman’s parents for negligence

Two police officers implicated in the death of Aruban tourist Mitch Henriquez are appearing in court for the first time on Monday. The pair's identities are being protected at the hearing in the high-security courtroom at Schiphol, where lawyers for both sides will discuss the progress of the case. They are suspected of assaulting Henriquez with fatal consequences at the Night in the Park festival in The Hague in June 2015. Henriquez, 42, died in hospital the day after he was pinned to the ground in a choke hold by five officers and dragged unconscious into a police van. Police said he had shouted out that he was carrying a gun. The incident sparked several days of unrest and rioting in the city's Schilderswijk district. An internal investigation identified a string of errors made by the team that arrested Henriquez, such taking him to hospital in the van rather than waiting for an ambulance. The report also said pepper spray had been rubbed in his face and criticised the officer in charge for not showing leadership. All five police officers were disciplined following an inquiry but none was dismissed from the force. Two were provisionally suspended from duty and banned from carrying guns for a year. Henriquez's family have called for the entire group to be prosecuted. The trial is expected to begin in April.  More >

Consumers more confident on economy

Victims of Alphen mall shooting claim sue gunman’s parents for negligence The Dutch consumer confidence index hit a 9.5 year high in February, rising 1 point on January’s total to +14. Consumers being more positive about the economy in general and are therefore more likely to spend money, national statistics office CBS said on Monday. The index reached a high of +27 in April 2000 but plunged to as low as -44 at the height of the economic crisis in February 2013. The CBS also said on Monday that consumer spending rose 2.5% in December, in line with developments in the previous two months. In particular, consumers spent more on consumer durables such as fridges, as well as furnishings and cars. The cold weather also boosted spending on gas for heating.   More >

Shopping mall victims sue gunman's parents

Victims of Alphen mall shooting claim sue gunman’s parents for negligence Victims of a shopping centre shooting that left six people dead are suing the gunman's parents, claiming they failed to act on signs that his mental health was failing. Six people died and 17 others were injured when Tristan van der Vlis opened fire in the Ridderhof mall in Alphen aan den Rijn in April 2011, before taking his own life. Lawyers said 13 victims and their families were involved in the compensation claim. AD reported that Van der Vlis's mother had admitted in an earlier hearing that her son was depressed and had talked to spirits of dead people. She added she was surprised that Tristan had been granted a gun owner's licence. The 24-year-old had also shown signs of unusual behaviour at the warehouse where he worked. Lawyer Lionel Lalji, who is representing the families, said he wanted to establish responsibility so his clients could receive compensation from the relevant insurers. Adem Aksoy, who was wounded in the Ridderhof shooting, told AD: 'Everyone has passed the question of responsibility onto someone else because they're worried about compensation claims. Nobody has apologised. That's what I want so I can close the issue.' A hearing in the compensation case is scheduled for March 6.  More >

Police: use tech to beat bad driver habits

Victims of Alphen mall shooting claim sue gunman’s parents for negligence Devices to block the use of mobile phones in cars, speed limiters and breathalysers equipped as standard are among the suggestions in a new police campaign to force drivers to change their habits. Egbert-Jan van Hasselt, national project team leader for infrastructure, said drastic measures were needed to cut the number of accidents on the road. 'Motorists' behaviour is getting worse,' he told NOS Radio 1 Journaal. 'Enforcement on its own is no longer enough. We need to influence their behaviour from the start. 'Technically there are things we can do so that if you've had a drink, your car won't start and if you go too fast you hear a signal or the car will brake automatically. I'm calling on politicians to get to work on this.' The number of road deaths increased in 2015 for the first time in years, from 570 to 621. The biggest increases were on motorways where the speed limit was raised from 120 to 130 km/h: on these stretches the figure trebled from 10 in 2014 to 32 the following year.   More >

Battle for Telegraaf group heats up

Victims of Alphen mall shooting claim sue gunman’s parents for negligence The struggle to gain control of TMG Holland's largest newspaper group - and the only one not yet in Belgian hands - has resumed, the Financieele Dagblad said on Monday. Mediahuis, the Belgian media group which owns Dutch quality paper NRC has locked horns with Talpa, the investment vehicle of Dutch television producer John de Mol, over TMG which is valued currently at about €273m. TMG publishes the Telegraaf, Metro and several regional papers in the Netherlands. On Sunday Mediahuis raised its bid for TMG to €5.90 per share, up from the €5.25 per share offer it made in December and at the same level as Talpa. De Mol, who owns 20% of TMG shares, said on Monday he is still in the running to take over TMG. However, Mediahuis has the backing of the Van Puijenbroek family, TMG's largest shareholder and claims to have the backing of 60% of current TMG shareholders, the FD points out.   More >