Today the Regional Court in Lelystad acquitted all suspects in a large case of fraud in the fishing industry. The companies and individuals concerced were accused of fraudulent misprepresentation by allegedy have sold yellowfinsole, rocksole and common dab as European plaice. The court, however, ruled that the accused had no intent to mislead their customers.
Lawyers Michiel Pestman and Tamara Buruma represented two groups of accused. In their pleadings they argued why fish could have been sold as European plaice, at least why their clients could have believed this to be allowed. They further explained that the buyers, all merchants, knew what fish they were buying and that the former accused never had the intent to mislead their customers. Reference was made by the lawyers to the transparant bookkeeping of their clients, the pricing of fish in the market and the current relationship between buyers and sellers in the market. The court has followed the lawyers' reasoning.
The Public Prosecution Service has two weeks to appeal the judgment.