Pretoriusstraat 28
squatted since feb2001
Social revolution at street level

Report from BIBOB hearing (13th April 2006)

from indymedia, original story by "S. Miranda" on 13.04.2006

At the hearing (which had been called because of a complaint against the BIBOB-motivated decision to withdraw the Pretoriusstraat 28 building permit) there was both the former owner J. McCarthy and the new owners present. McCarthy's abuses had, in the first place, been the reason for the withdrawal of the permit. The formal reason for the withdrawal had been his refusal to provide information to the local government regarding the origin of his money and the reason why the SIOD had raided his office in the Frans van Mierisstraat in Oud-Zuid, in 2005. Also present at the hearing were the new owners Robert Leon Segaar, Pepijn Koch, Antonius Komp and Gerardus Van de Laar, together with their lawyer from Voorburg.

McCarthy argued, via his lawywer Kamp, that his failure to submit the relevant documents had in no way been his fault but that the blame lay by his accountant/advisors NBC van Roemburg and partners. Indeed, he claimed that he had been personally more than happy to hand over the relevant documents but that these documents had not been made available to him. When asked what his interest in the whole affair was, seeing that he was no longer the owner, he replied that it was a question of clearing his 'good name'. When asked why the SIOD had raided his offices, he replied that it had been the squatters who had reported him to the SIOD and that, other than that, there had been absolutely no pretext for the raid.

The lawyer representing the new owners tried to portray his clients as 'decent businessmen', that were simply trying to build up a property portfolio as an investment. The lawyer also stressed that his clients were at all times prepared to undergo a BIBOB check; he emphasised that all four owners had a clean climinal record, and wanted nothing more than to renovate the house so as to earn their investment back.

The jurist from the local government, Stefan Heijsden, argued that there were no grounds upon which the withdrawn building permit should be restored, and that neither the bank (in whose name a complaint had originally been made) nor the new owners were, legally seen, involved parties. He advised that the new owners would do better to simply request a new building permit.

Also Ferry Colon, that had some time ago made a complaint against the building permit itself, was present and he argued that a BIBOB question such as this was really something that should be dealt with in the political arena rather than in a complaints commission. Moreover, he argued, the very same commission had never responded to his original complaint against the building permit, and should first begin on completing that task before doing anything else.

Eventually the squatting group had its turn to say something. Their argument was mainly focussed on the clarification of a number of points: namely that the SIOD had raided McCarthy's office because his business NedZorg was only employing illegal workers, that it was probably also involved in money laundering, and that it was thus completely correct that McCarthy's building permit had been withdrawn. The most important point of the squatters' argument, however, was that they could show black-on-white that the 'new' owners had already for years been business partners of McCarthy and his accountant Johannes van den Elshout. One fact in particular that was strongly emphasised was that Pepijn Koch is the director of NBC van Roemburg. Indeed, the most recent invoice from this accountantancy office, within which payment is requested from McCarthy for services performed for him by NBC van Roemburg, is from March 2006.

As a reaction to all this, McCarthy claimed that he now wished to be subjected to a deep BIBOB investigation. For their part, Koch and his fellow owners tried half-heartedly to distance themselves from McCarthy and Van den Elshout, but this really did not come across as very believable at all...

The testimony from the squatting group, along with supporting evidence, is available (in Dutch) from

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