He would be one of the leaders of the RJK, the radical hard core of Feyenoord: Maximiliaan V. (30 years old). Suspected of driving the New Year’s Eve riots in ‘s-Gravendeel, but also suspected of other actions by the RJK. “He is being given a bigger role than he actually has,” says his lawyer.
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It is 2015. Maximiliaan V. is one of dozens of suspects on trial in Rotterdam for the major riots in Rome. He is said to have thrown three bottles at Italian officers during the outbreak of violence against the police. He is still studying at university, still lives at home and has no major problems.
He has been seen in football riots before, but he has never been punished for football violence before. The judge believes that this rioter will improve his life. The chance that he will be guilty of football violence again seems small. V. gets off with community service.
Long list of suspicions
It’s eight years later, Wednesday July 12 to be exact. The man whom the judge once thought would no longer commit football violence is back in court. De Rijswijker would have participated in a long list of actions, with which the infamous Rotterdam Youth Core (RJK) made itself heard. Since January, the co-owner of a clothing line that is very popular among fanatical supporters has already been detained.
The graffiti at the home of alderman Robert Simons. Photo: MediaTV
Around the Conference League final in Tirana, the Feyenoord supporter is said to have held up one of the shocking banners, which threatened, among others, mayor Aboutaleb and the founder of the LGBTI + supporters club Roze Kameraden with death. He would also have threatened the latter by spraying slogans on his gym. He is also said to have set fire to that gym, as well as sprayed slogans on the home of Rotterdam alderman Robert Simons.
This Wednesday, during a preparatory session, the main focus will be on the riots on New Year’s Eve in ‘s-Gravendeel. According to the Public Prosecution Service, it is “clearly obvious that he was the driving force behind the plans to attack the police in a small village with a hundred men.” “That night I really felt fear for the first time in my career,” one of the officers told co-defendants earlier during a hearing.
It was beautiful, it was cool, will be in the chat later
V. would have been active in the chat, in which the plans were made. In which a photo came along with illegal fireworks and homemade crow’s feet. Crow’s feet that were eventually thrown onto the road, leaving the police with nowhere to go. “We are ready,” it sounded in the chat before the turn of the year. Afterwards there is joy. It was beautiful, it was cool, will be in the chat later.
There is no evidence that V. threw fireworks at the officers himself. But he was there. “He does have some explaining to do,” says his lawyer Kim van de Wijngaart. But his role would not be nearly as big as the Public Prosecution Service thinks, she later stated when asked. Not even with the other suspicions against him.
V. wants to start with a clean slate after punishment
V. has thought a lot during the six months that he has been detained, as he reads a handwritten statement in court. He looks serious and seems guilty. “I understand that this behavior is absolutely unacceptable and will not be shown again in the future.” He wants to serve his sentence and then start with a clean slate, that is his wish.
He has already sought help in prison, he says. And will do so once he is released. “I am very sorry.” Also because his arrest has made his loved ones sad and causes a lot of tension. “I can imagine that the victims are facing the same problems.”
De Rijswijker will remain in custody until the hearing in October. Partly because of the fear of recurrence. “We are not yet convinced that you will no longer do such things,” says the judge.