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Clinuvel chairman Willem Blijdorp in a quarry in Iran

Dossier Willem Blijdorp

Investigation into Clinuvel chairman

A Dutch Court of Appeal has rejected a request by a former business partner of Clinuvel Pharmaceutical chairman Willem Blijdorp to order the public prosecutors’ office to start a criminal investigation into Mr Blijdorp.

The estranged former business partner of the biotech chairman recently petitioned a Dutch court in a last-ditch attempt to ensnare Mr Blijdorp, a wealthy businessman, in a criminal probe.

Mr Blijdorp, a major shareholder, co-founder and deputy chairman of listed group B&S in Holland, has been locked in a years-long battle with former business partner Daniel M. after the two men had a falling out.

The media-shy Dutch businessman provided €75.35 million across 12 unsecured loans to Daniel M., an Iranian-Dutch marble trader, to help facilitate the purchase of licences and other “business activities” of nine Iranian quarries in 2015 and 2016. The pair had plans to set up a joint venture but the relationship soured.

Daniel lodged a formal complaint with the Dutch Court of Appeals against the public prosecutors’ decision to not move ahead with a criminal investigation into Mr Blijdorp last year. This placed the case under judicial review.

Daniel accused Mr Blijdorp of forgery and participation in – and/or solicitation of – forgery, threats, extortion and participation in a criminal organisation, according to fresh court documents.

Mr Blijdorp, who previously denied the allegations against him through his lawyer, appeared in closed chambers on February 24 with his legal representatives.

The Court of Appeal dismissed Daniel’s complaint against Mr Blijdorp.

Criminal case ordered
“Further investigations, given the nature and diversity of the accusations, would also require ample and time-consuming efforts on the part of the investigative authorities,” the translated court documents said.

“It is very much unsure whether further research will still produce useful and reliable [supporting] evidence four years after the fact.”

The court did order the Dutch public prosecution service to start a criminal case against another man, Emad Moursy. The court said Mr Moursy confessed to taking part in a smear campaign against Daniel, and Mr Moursy was the “driving force” of that campaign.

According to Daniel, Mr Moursy worked for Mr Blijdorp.

Daniel had filed two so-called Article 12 proceedings against Mr Blijdorp and Mr Moursy. Under an Article 12 proceeding, the court may mandate the public prosecutors’ office to investigate the alleged perpetrator.

Mr Blijdorp is part of a civil dispute in the Netherlands and has a significant claim of his own against Daniel M. The Dutch Public Prosecution Service has confirmed there is an active criminal investigation into Daniel.

Mr Blijdorp, a near-billionaire, is widely known in Holland, but less known as chairman of local biotech Clinuvel. Its market capitalisation peaked last year at more than $2.1 billion but has dropped below $900 million after the shares recently hit a two-year low in late March.

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