The business of war – court hears details of Dutch arms dealer’s flashy lifestyle
Convicted arms dealer Augustinus Petrus Koewenhoven proved just how profitable war can be when details of his flashy lifestyle were presented before the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
The court heard how Koewenhoven‚ who lives in a paid up R90-million home in Bantry Bay on the Atlantic seaboard‚ would regularly be seen driving luxurious cars around the city and drew an income from the second home he owns and rents for R18‚000 per night.
The Dutch national is facing extradition for war crimes he committed during the Liberian civil war and was having his bail application heard by the court. In April the International Criminal Court in The Hague sentenced Koewenhoven to 19 years’ imprisonment for supplying illegal arms to former Liberian president Charles Taylor during the late 90s and early 2000s.
Dutch prosecutors asked for extradition after Koewenhoven was arrested in Cape Town on Wednesday following an Interpol warrant for his apprehension. He has been held at the Sea Point Police Station since then.
Dressed in a light blue shirt and wearing reading glasses‚ Koewenhoven appeared calm in the dock‚ often spreading his arms and resting them on the bench‚ as evidence was read during his bail application.
State advocate Christopher Burke read out an affidavit by Interpol investigating officer Jacobus van der Heever where he stated that Kouwenhoven travelled a lot and was a flight risk.
“It is also believed that he has a relationship with the president of the Republic of Congo and it is feared that he might escape there‚” Burke said.
In his own affidavit Koewenhoven claimed that he was appealing the ruling by International Criminal Court and should be allowed to remain in South Africa until the process was complete.
He said that poor health‚ which gave him a life expectancy of between three and four years‚ was another reason why he could not travel back to his homeland or continue to remain behind bars.
In another affidavit read out by Burke‚ home affairs immigration office Adrian Jackson said that Koewenhoven has “omitted information” about his HIV status and his pending criminal charges from his visa application‚ which would not qualify him for a visa in South Africa.
“Mr Koewenhoven does not qualify for status in South Africa because he is a convicted criminal‚” Burke said.
The hearing continues on Wednesday.