'Seriously ill' Dutch arms dealer to spend another night in custody

2017-12-13 17:49
Augustinus Petrus Kouwenhoven. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Augustinus Petrus Kouwenhoven. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - A Dutch arms dealer, who faces 19 years in jail in the Netherlands for selling firearms to former Liberian president Charles Taylor, is still in police custody, despite arguing that his continued detention could prove fatal.

Augustinus Petrus Kouwenhoven’s bail application continued for the second consecutive day in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

Kouwenhoven wants to be released on bail and is willing to be placed under house arrest if this happens.

However, affidavits obtained from the State say he is a fugitive and flight risk.

Pending extradition

The matter resumes on Thursday and Kouwenhoven remains in police custody.

Kouwenhoven, 75, was arrested in Fresnaye last Friday.

He 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 of crimes against humanity and selling firearms to Taylor. He also plans to appeal this.

On Tuesday, during the bail application, an affidavit by Kouwenhoven was read out.

He said he was seriously ill and had a life expectancy of about three years.

READ: Detaining me longer could kill me - Dutch arms dealer arrested in Cape Town

An affidavit by Interpol investigator Warrant Officer Willem Jacobus van der Heever was also read out.

Van der Heever said Kouwenhoven had been Taylor’s confidant and was a friend of the president of the Republic of the Congo, doing business with that government in 2016.

He said, while Kouwenhoven stated he was very ill and unable to care for himself daily, investigators had spotted him driving around Cape Town in his luxury vehicles.

READ: 'Fugitive' Dutch arms dealer spotted driving around Cape Town in luxury cars, court hears

Van der Heever said an original arrest warrant from Interpol was expected to arrive in Cape Town by Thursday.

Interpol investigators were also expected to arrive.

Read more on:    charles taylor  |  augustinus petrus kouwenhoven  |  liberia  |  crime
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