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The trial of seven suspected killers of a Dutch volunteer football referee began in a court in Lelystad on Monday with a pro-forma hearing.

In an incident that sent shockwaves through the Netherlands 41-year old Richard Nieuwenhuizen was attacked by players while officiating an under-17 match that his son was playing in in December.

He died the following day after failing to recover from his injures.

Dutch police arrested seven teenagers and the father of one of the players – although a 15-year-old boy was later released.

The seven suspects remain in custody and appeared in front of the court today for a hearing that focused on organisational matters rather than the content of the case which is expected to be dealt with in May.

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