Dutch prosecutor confirms murder case linked to British crime lord to be re-opened

PROSECUTORS in the Netherlands have re-opened the investigation into the murder of schoolteacher Gerard Meesters following a case review.

The move follows a formal complaint made last year by the family of Mr Meesters who was gunned down on his doorstep in Groningen in November 2002.

Prosecutors believe they have new evidence which connects the murder to British crime lord Robert Dawes, currently awaiting trial in Paris over a seizure of 1.3 tonnes of cocaine in September 2013.

Interviews with significant witnesses including Gerard Meesters’ son Koen will begin next week.  Prosecutors are also likely to seek an interview with Daniel Sowerby who is currently serving a life sentence for carrying out the shooting.

During his court case in which fellow Brit Steven Barnes was also prosecuted as the getaway driver, Sowerby denied being the shooter but has since admitted he was a trusted employee of Robert Dawes at the time of the murder and had carried out various tasks on behalf of Dawes’ organised crime group including visiting Gerard Meesters in the days before the murder.

The organised crime group led by Dawes had lost a significant load of drugs which they believed had been stolen by Gerard’s sister Janette and a friend Madeleine Brussen. Sowerby was sent to the home of Mr Meesters, who had no involvement in crime, to demand the teacher contacted the gangsters to let them know where his sister was.

Sowerby was accompanied by notorious Dutch gangster Gwenette Martha, and a number of other men and gave Mr Meesters a Spanish mobile number to call with information about his sister.

When Mr Meesters failed to tell the gang her whereabouts a shooter was dispatched a few days later to brutally murder Mr Meesters on his doorstep.

Gwenette Martha was shot dead in May 2014 as part of a violent power struggle between Dutch Moroccan groups wrestling for control over lucrative cocaine transport lines. Martha had been a close associate of Dawes from 2001 and the two had been doing business right up until his death.

It is expected that prosecutors from the Netherlands will seek to formally interview Dawes at some point in the re-investigation process.