Birthday party blow for Cape Town war criminal

25 May 2018 - 12:10 By Dan Meyer
Augustinus “Gus” Kouwenhoven.
Augustinus “Gus” Kouwenhoven.
Image: Liberia Past Present via Twitter

“I’m going to miss the birthday party‚” convicted war criminal Augustinus “Gus” Kouwenhoven grumbled on Friday as his bail conditions were amended to house arrest during the latest installment of his extradition hearing at Cape Town Magistrate’s Court.

Prosecutor Christopher Berg and defence attorney Gary Eisenberg agreed that the Dutch national should report to Sea Point police station three times a week and remain at his Fresnaye home unless he has to leave for medical reasons‚ or to attend a Sunday church service in Camps Bay.

“He’s a very religious man‚ he’s a Catholic‚” said Eisenberg‚ whose client was present for the first time since March and sat in a wheelchair dressed in black with a moonboot on his right leg.

The matter of his extradition to the Netherlands‚ where he was convicted of war crimes and arms dealing at the International Criminal Court in 2016‚ was postponed yet again as the defence asked to review new extradition documents.

Last month’s hearing was postponed because Kouwenhoven had broken his leg and was recovering from surgery in hospital.

Conflict with a separate high court case in which Kouwenhoven is challenging the nature of his arrest in Cape Town in November 2017 was another factor in magistrate Vusi Mhlanga’s decision to postpone the matter again.

“If the high court matter is successful‚ this matter will most likely be annulled‚” said Eisenberg.

Berg agreed to the postponement but said that the extradition hearing should not be delayed too much longer.

“These proceedings shouldn’t be held to ransom‚” he said. “We might wait till the cows come home at this rate.”

The matter will resume on June 25.

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