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Man found guilty of 'war crimes' was granted SA visa, court hears

schumi

Honorary Master
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
19,384
#1
Cape Town – A man, convicted of being an accessory to war crimes for selling weapons to former Liberian president Charles Taylor, was issued with a temporary visa to stay in South Africa until 2020.

This emerged in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Friday during the appearance of 75-year-old Augustinus Petrus Kouwenhoven.

Kouwenhoven was arrested in Fresnaye at 08:00, ahead of his possible extradition and handover to Dutch authorities.

He was surrounded by police officers as he walked to the courtroom and waited for his appearance.

Prosecutor Christopher Burke told Magistrate Phakama Madinda that a Dutch court had found Kouwenhoven guilty of war crimes, arms trading and crimes against humanity.

The Dutch government made a request for his provisional arrest, and warrants were obtained and executed in Cape Town on Friday morning.

The prosecution indicated that it would oppose bail and said it needed time to prepare for a bail hearing.

A fugitive from justice

"The State has reason to believe that Mr Kouwenhoven is a fugitive from justice which makes him a flight risk," Burke said.

The law usually allows a seven-day remand for bail to be obtained.

Burke proposed a compromise that involved keeping the accused in the Sea Point police cells until Tuesday so that the State could gather the information they needed.

However, Kouwenhoven’s advocate, Liuba Stansfield, rejected the suggestion, saying her client was terminally ill with usual interstitial pneumonia - a form of lung disease.

He is also HIV positive.

"His immune system is so weakened by the pneumonia with which he has been diagnosed," she said.

A weakened immune system

These two factors make his immune system extremely vulnerable to possible infection in the "unsanitary" conditions of the Sea Point police cells, the court heard.

She said they were astounded by Kouwenhoven's arrest on Friday, adding that he had instructed his lawyers at the beginning of the year already about a possible arrest.

His lawyers had apparently been in frequent contact with an official at the South African Department of Justice in anticipation of an attempt to arrest him in the long-running case against him.

The official assured him he would not be arrested and that any communication in that regard would be forwarded through "diplomatic channels".

He had also prepared an affidavit in July in case he was arrested.

He has been living in South Africa with his wife and two children, and had been excused from attending his trial in the Dutch court this year, because of his illness.

"He was certified by a medical doctor as being unable to fly," said Stansfield.

'Not in hiding'

"He hasn't been hiding that they can only find him now. He is going nowhere"

In addition, the court also heard that the South African Department of Home Affairs gave him a visa in August to let him stay in South Africa until 2020.

Stansfield proposed house arrest and said she could not understand why the police brought him to court when they knew what she had told the court.

But Burke said the National Prosecuting Authority had to carry out its own checks.

It did not want Kouwenhoven out of custody while it did so.

Burke also wanted to know how Kouwenhoven obtained a visa.

Madinda granted the State's request for a remand until Tuesday.

Head of the Cape Town police cluster Major-General Jeremy Vearey was at court for a short period and praised the police.

"I commend Captain Althea Noemda-Jefta for the hard work and dedication by her and her team which brought this result," he said.

News24
https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/...imes-was-granted-sa-visa-court-hears-20171208
 

schumi

Honorary Master
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
19,384
#4
Detaining me longer could kill me - Dutch arms dealer arrested in Cape Town

Cape Town - A Dutch arms dealer, convicted of selling weapons to former Liberian president Charles Taylor and of crimes against humanity, says his further police detention in Cape Town could prove fatal.

Augustinus Petrus Kouwenhoven, 75, says he is so ill that he has about three years left to live.

His affidavit containing these details was read out in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Tuesday during a bail application.

"My continued detention... could seriously prejudice my health and may even be fatal," Kouwenhoven's affidavit states.

It detailed a list of his health issues.

Kouwenhoven was arrested early on Friday, December 8, in Fresnaye.

In April this year, Kouwenhoven was convicted by the Dutch appeal court of being an accessory to war crimes and of selling weapons to Taylor during Liberia's civil wars.

He was sentenced to 19 years in jail.

Kouwenhoven's appeal against his sentence is expected to be heard in Holland in 2018.
The bail application continues.

News24
https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/...ch-arms-dealer-arrested-in-cape-town-20171212
 

Okty

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
595
#7
Almost like that movie Lords of War. :D

From my cynical perspective, I think the only reason he is charged by a Dutch court is that weapons were not sold via a official arms company.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
14,650
#8
To ill to fly, how did he get here? Send him back so that the Dutch can lock him up. Why waste our tax money on scum?
 

schumi

Honorary Master
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
19,384
#9
'Fugitive' Dutch arms dealer spotted driving around Cape Town in luxury cars, court hears

Cape Town – A Dutch arms dealer, convicted of crimes against humanity and selling firearms to former Liberian president Charles Taylor, was spotted by police investigators driving around Cape Town in his luxury cars before his arrest last week.

This emerged in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Tuesday during his bail application.

Two very different portrayals of Augustinus Petrus Kouwenhoven, 75, were presented during proceedings in court.

One was that of a very ill father of two who was monitoring legal proceedings he faced abroad via local legal representatives as he was too sick to travel. The other was of a man fleeing the law and living in luxury in Cape Town.


Kouwenhoven was arrested early on Friday in the Fresnaye by members of the Cape Town police cluster.


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

In an affidavit read out in the court on Tuesday, Kouwenhoven said he was so ill that being detained in custody for a long period could prove fatal.

Kouwenhoven, who also detailed problems with his left leg, limped slightly as he made his way to the dock in court on Tuesday.

However, Interpol investigator Warrant Officer Willem Jacobus van der Heever outlined a very different picture of Kouwenhoven.

Luxury cars, homes

He said, also via an affidavit, that it was known that Kouwenhoven gave a tour of his multiple-storey home, which it later emerged in court was in upmarket Bantry Bay.

"He gave a guided tour of his five-storey house when the elevator didn't work. He was also observed [by police investigators] driving many of his luxury vehicles around Cape Town," Van der Heever said.

Kouwenhoven had travelled in out and out of South Africa for about six years.

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

Kouwenhoven had been embroiled in legal battles for years.

He was arrested in the Netherlands in 2005 and the next year sentenced to eight years in jail.

He successfully appealed and in 2008 he was acquitted of the charges he faced.

Flight risk
But in 2008, two anonymous witnesses came forward.

In April, Kouwenhoven was then convicted and sentenced in absentia in the Netherlands to 19 years in jail.

Kouwenhoven, who was ill in South Africa at the time of his sentencing, plans to appeal the April sentencing in proceedings set to be heard in the Netherlands in the second half of 2018.

Van der Heever said while Kouwenhoven said he was too sick to travel, he had, in fact, travelled to destinations including Paris and Brazzaville.

He believed Kouwenhoven was fit enough to be detained.

"Kouwenhoven is a fugitive from justice, which also makes him a flight risk," Van der Heever said.

An Interpol red notice was issued for Kouwenhoven on April 21. A red notice is a request to find and provisionally arrest someone pending their extradition.

'No disposition for violence'

Kouwenhoven's affidavit said he posed no danger to anyone.

"I have no disposition for violence," he said.

But Van der Heever's affidavit said Kouwenhoven's convictions related to a civil war which "raged" in Liberia for many years.

"During the civil war, at the time of the Charles Taylor regime, he was one of his (Taylor's) confidants," he said.

Van der Heever said Kouwenhoven imported weapons, including AK47s, as well as ammunition, for Taylor.

He also provided camps for Taylor's militia.

"They decapitated civilians, threw living babies into wells and shattered their skulls," Van der Heever said, adding that Taylor's militia had also kidnapped women and destroyed villages.

Van der Heever said it appeared Kouwenhoven was waiting for a convenient time to flee court proceedings.

In his affidavit, Kouwenhoven said he suffered from "extremely poor health".

'Three years left to live'

"My situation is such that my life expectancy is three years," he said.

Kouwenhoven flew into South Africa in December 2016 and it was understood he had remained in the country since then.

On learning of the April sentencing in the Netherlands, Kouwenhoven said he immediately contacted his South African legal representatives.

Kouwenhoven said air travel could be detrimental to his health and it was therefore in his best interest to remain in South Africa.

The finalisation of extradition proceedings, he said, could take years.

Kouwenhoven's affidavit listed many health problems which he said he suffered from.

This included an urgent prostate operation and, at another point, losing all the feeling in his left leg due to nerve damage.

Kouwenhoven said he was not able to care for himself daily.

It emerged during proceedings that Kouwenhoven and his wife married in community of property in April 2009. She obtained permanent residency in South Africa in 2015.

Kouwenhoven has 2-year-old twins, who were born in South Africa in May 2015, and stays in Bantry Bay with his wife.

Together they own the R90m home in Bantry Bay.

A two-storey home valued at R20m and in the same street was registered in the name of one of Kouwenhoven's companies. He and his wife rented this out at R18 000 per night.

A third property they own, in Camps Bay, was recently sold for R12m.

The couple also has three cars – a Porsche Panamera, a Range Rover Autobiography and a Mercedes Vito.

Stolen paintings

Kouwenhoven, in his affidavit, said he had no previous convictions.

But Burke, for the State, pointed out that this was not the case as Kouwenhoven was deported from the United States in the 1970s for trying to sell stolen Rembrandt paintings.

Kouwenhoven's legal representative Advocate Laurence Hodes SC said Kouwenhoven was never convicted for the matter.

The bail application continues on Wednesday.

Kouwenhoven would be detained at the Sea Point police station until then.

News24
https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/...cape-town-in-luxury-cars-court-hears-20171212
 

schumi

Honorary Master
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
19,384
#10
'Fugitive' Dutch arms dealer linked to Liberian war granted R1m bail in Cape Town

Cape Town – A Dutch arms dealer, convicted of crimes against humanity and for selling firearms to former Liberian president Charles Taylor, has been granted bail in Cape Town under strict conditions.

Augustinus Petrus Kouwenhoven, 75, who the State has argued is a fugitive from justice and a flight risk, will have to report to the Sea Point police station daily.

He has also been placed under house arrest and his passport is to be handed in.

Kouwenhoven appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday where Magistrate Vusi Mhlanga granted his release on bail.

"The applicant has already been convicted, he's not someone presumed to be innocent," Mhlanga said, while reading out his ruling.

News24
http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/N...an-war-granted-r1m-bail-in-cape-town-20171219
 

Eniigma

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2006
Messages
1,109
#13
Two very different portrayals of Augustinus Petrus Kouwenhoven, 75, were presented during proceedings in court.

One was that of a very ill father of two who was monitoring legal proceedings he faced abroad via local legal representatives as he was too sick to travel. The other was of a man fleeing the law and living in luxury in Cape Town.

https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/...cape-town-in-luxury-cars-court-hears-20171212
Guess he's been getting "terminal illness" lessons from ol' Shaik
 

schumi

Honorary Master
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
19,384
#15
Dutch arms dealer case postponed in wait of extradition documentation

Cape Town - The Cape Town Magistrate’s Court has granted a postponement in the case involving a Dutch arms dealer convicted of crimes against humanity and for selling firearms to former Liberian president Charles Taylor.

Augustinus Petrus Kouwenhoven, 75, appeared in court on Friday morning, where the magistrate signed off on a postponement to wait for extradition documentation from the Department of Justice.

Kouwenhoven faces a 19-year jail sentence for crimes against humanity in the Netherlands and could face extradition.

During his bail application on December 19, 2017 concerns were raised that he may flee the country, given his alleged close relationship with the president of the Republic of the Congo.

The central African nation does not have an extradition agreement with South Africa or the Netherlands.

"An amendment was made to the bail conditions on January 4, 2018 and he is only required to report to the police station twice a day,” said State advocate Christopher Burke.

Kouwenhoven was initially required to report to the Sea Point police station every two hours, every day.

Court proceedings will resume on February 27, 2018.

News24
https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/...in-wait-of-extradition-documentation-20180112
 

schumi

Honorary Master
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
19,384
#16
Arms dealer wins extra two months in luxury Cape Town home

An arms dealer fighting extradition to the Netherlands‚ where he has been sentenced to 19 years’ imprisonment‚ had his bail extended until late April in Cape Town on Tuesday.

Guus Kouwenhoven‚ 75‚ who was convicted in his absence for crimes against humanity and selling firearms to former Liberian president Charles Taylor‚ will remain under house arrest at his R90-million home in Fresnaye‚ where he was arrested in December.
More at: https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/so...ns-extra-two-months-in-luxury-cape-town-home/
 
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