Carli Alves

Trinidadian national Carli Alves, 26, who was seeking asylum in the Netherlands, confessed to the killing of a popular Dutch comic when he appeared before a Den Bosch court in that country yesterday.

Alves, from Echt, is suspected of the murder or manslaughter of 56-year-old Peter Schrijen, a well-known comic and spoken word performer known in the travelling carnival world in Limburg and Noord-Brabant. Schrijen is fromBoxmeer, a town about an hour and 45 minutes drive from the nation’s capital of Amsterdam.

During an interim session of the case yesterday, Alves confessed to killing Schrijen. Alves’ lawyer Kirsten Valkeneers told the court there was no question of murder but rather manslaughter.

The court is yet to determine which charge Alves will face and come September they expect a pre-trial hearing followed by a substantive hearing by the end of the year.

During the interim session, Alves admitted he was at the victim’s home on February 26 of this year and had an “unwanted” fight with Schrijen. He said the fight got out of hand. However, his counsel told the court they would not reveal at this time why the two fought and what caused the death of the victim.

Schrijen, 54, was found dead in his upstairs apartment in Boxmeer four days later on March 1. The police arrested Alves nine days later at a friend’s house in another town, Gilze-Rijen, about 100 km away from Boxmeer.

The victim, according to earlier reports in the De Limburger newspaper, regularly invited young men to his home. However, Alves’s lawyer told the court they did not want to say whether Alves was in Boxmeer for that reason on the day Schrijen was killed.

The public prosecutor told the court that the Public Prosecution Service had not formulated the final accusation against Alves. The public prosecutor said she would not rule out that Alves could eventually be prosecuted for manslaughter and not for murder since the killing could have well not been premeditated.

On the advice of his lawyer, Alves made statements about the violent events in early April and the public prosecutor said he would no longer have to cooperate in a later hearing.

If Alves is found guilty of murder he faces life imprisonment in the Netherlands but if he is convicted of manslaughter he could face up to 15 years in prison.

Sources in the Netherlands also told Guardian Media that Alves had been convicted in the past of another crime. However, his lawyer has refused to say what that crime was. Alves arrived in the Netherlands sometime in 2017 seeking asylum.