'Fugitive' Dutch arms dealer linked to Liberian war to hear if he'll be freed on bail

2017-12-19 07:18
Augustinus Petrus Kouwenhoven is seen in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Augustinus Petrus Kouwenhoven is seen in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - A Dutch arms dealer, convicted of selling firearms to former Liberian president Charles Taylor and who was arrested in Cape Town nearly two weeks ago, is expected to hear on Tuesday whether he will be freed from custody.

The State has argued that Augustinus Petrus Kouwenhoven, 75, is a fugitive from justice and a flight risk.

He is set to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court to hear whether or not he will be released.

Kouwenhoven was arrested in the upmarket suburb of Fresnaye on December 8.

READ: Dutch arms dealer used 'blood money' to finance his lavish lifestyle in Cape Town, court hears

He has been detained at the Sea Point police station since then.

His arrest in Cape Town made news in both the Netherlands and Liberia.

Kouwenhoven faces possible extradition to the Netherlands, where he faces a 19-year jail sentence, for crimes committed in Liberia between 1999 and 2002.

Following a series of legal battles, including appealing convictions, Kouwenhoven was in April 2017 convicted in the Netherlands of crimes against humanity and selling firearms to Taylor.

Kouwenhoven plans to appeal his conviction.

During his bail application last week, an affidavit he had deposed to was read out.

In it Kouwenhoven said he was seriously ill and his continued detention in custody could prove fatal.

However, prosecutor Christopher Burke said that he believed Kouwenhoven was fit for custody.

He argued that Kouwenhoven had created an opulent life in Cape Town using "blood money".

“The profound problem is that all this opulence came at the cost of pillaging a poor African country, while supplying weapons to one of the most notorious warlords of our time,” Burke had said.

He believed that Kouwenhoven would try and flee if released from custody and therefore argued that he should not be granted bail.

Read more on:    augustinus petrus kouwenhoven  |  cape town  |  crime

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