dimanche 5 juin 2016

Public prosecutor demands acquittal in showbiz murder case

Martien Hunnik

Last year, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands ordered the retrial of Martien Hunnik jailed for the murder of record executive and producer Bart van de Laar in late 1981 (see article posted on May 30th, 2015).

Van de Laar was involved in Carrere/CNR records in the late 1970s.  Luv' signed a 750.000 Dutch guilder deal with him in October 1979. He followed the ladies when they went on a memorable promo tour in Mexico in May 1980 (see article posted in May 10th, 2015). The group received two gold records there (one for "Si, Que Si" (the Spanish version of "Ooh, Yes I Do") and another one for the 50.000 sales of their "True Luv" album in Holland). 

Van der Laar later runned the short-lived TTR label with his partners Ruud Wijnands and German publisher Rolf Baierle. In addition to Luv', his artist roster included Francis Goya, Corry Konings, Babe, Benny Neyman and Lenny Kuhr. He co-wrote "Het is een wonder", the Dutch entry at the Eurovision Song Contest 1981 performed by Linda Williams. This song reached the 9th position. A feud over the authorship of this track followed. On November 10th, 1981 Bart van der Laar was shot dead in his house in Hilversum, NL. Gay prostitute Martien Hunnik was arrested and convicted on the basis of a confession he made but later retracted. He was released from jail in the early 1990s. Van de Laar's death remained a mystery.

Hunnik then tried to get hold of his file and when he was refused, his lawyer and the public prosecutor requested a new trial. It became apparent that Hunnik was probably innocent. Two people known to Van der Laar most likely killed him on the orders of a business partner. In addition, medical experts said that Hunnik was ‘very susceptible to suggestions’ and inclined to exaggerate at the time of his confession.

Last week, the public prosecutor demanded the acquittal of Hunnik. "What a relief!" the defendant told RTL Nieuws on May 30th. "It's unbelievable. I want to thank the public prosecutor," he added. 

Source: RTL Nieuws, De Telegraaf, NU.nl, Volkskrant, Panorama....

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