The court rules that the meat wholesaler misled his buyers and also misled
They all assumed that they had bought pure beef. This destroyed
the reputation of the meat buyers. The meat wholesaler harmed the image of the
Dutch meat industry. He only worked for his own profit. The meat wholesaler
saved money buying the cheap horsemeat, mixing it with beef fat and selling it
as if it was the more expensive beef. The fact that the product with horsemeat
was only a small part of the total volume of trade, makes no difference to the
court. Finally, the court very much holds against him that he abused the trust
that the finance company put in him.
The prosecution demanded five years imprisonment. Because the court
acquitted the man of several accusations, it decided to a more lenient
punishment. In favour of the meat trader, the court took into account that the
man has been punished by his own actions: his businesses went bankrupt and there
is a good chance that he has to pay a claim of 11 million euros to the receiver
in his bankruptcy. In his favour the court also took into account the great
international media-attention and the fact that his full name was used by them.