The Dutch State does not want Johan van Laarhoven's detention to be temporarily suspended so that he can be admitted to hospital. On Friday, the state advocate argued in summary proceedings at the court in The Hague that the former coffee shop manager can be treated in the penitentiary in Vught.
According to lawyers Geert-Jan Knoops and Carry Knoops, the medical situation of their client is so worrying that Van Laarhoven must be treated in a hospital. He has more than ten disorders and medical complaints, including a pressing pain on his chest, an inflamed gallbladder, deformations of the feet and scabies.
However, this is being contested by the state lawyer. "A doctor and a nurse saw him in Vught. Their assessment was that there was no reason to scale up regular care." In addition, she argues, cooperation can be provided from prison if Van Laarhoven has to make an appointment with a specialist.
The lawyers of the man try to have his detention suspended indefinitely to have him arrested. Via a letter to the court, Van Laarhoven himself says that his mind has been shattered by the 5.5 years in detention in Thailand. "I'm not fine."
Van Laarhoven is very concerned about his wife Tukta, who is still detained in Thailand for complicity. She is a Thai national and therefore she could not come to the Netherlands through the same procedure that her husband went through. "I wonder if she is still the same person."
Friday, January 24, the court will rule on the summary proceedings.
205Frans van Laarhoven sees brother for the first time in years
Couple picked up in 2014
The couple were arrested in Thailand in 2014 following requests for legal assistance from the Public Prosecution Service (OM) in the Netherlands. The Dutch Public Prosecution Service had started an investigation because of a suspicion of money laundering at Van Laarhoven's address and wanted to question him in that context.
When Thailand did not respond to this request, the OM gave more details about the case, including by sending a powerpoint presentation, and it was suggested that the Thai themselves could also start an investigation. This led to the arrest of the former coffee shop owner and his wife.
Multiple proceedings regarding Van Laarhoven
The National Ombudsman, among others, has spoken critically about the conduct of the OM. For example, it was stated that the PPS acted negligently and that it could have been predicted in advance that Thailand would react violently to a money laundering suspicion against a former coffee shop owner: the country has nothing to do with the Dutch tolerance policy regarding the sale of soft drugs.
The defense of Van Laarhoven has therefore started a procedure to hold the State liable. Grace is also requested.
The OM announced on Thursday that the case against Van Laarhoven, which started in 2011, will continue and that an interrogation will be scheduled. According to the OM there are indications that the man has laundered millions of euros with his coffee shops in Den Bosch and Tilburg.
See also: Van Laarhoven: from coffee shop icon to prisoner in Thailand