Eggheads star CJ de Mooi bailed over alleged Netherlands killing

CJ de Mooi. Picture: PA

CJ de Mooi. Picture: PA

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Eggheads star CJ de Mooi has been bailed after appearing in court over an alleged killing which he apparently confessed to in his autobiography.

The former panellist on the BBC quiz show, who appeared in court under his real name Joseph Connagh, could face extradition to the Netherlands for allegations of murder, manslaughter and assault more than 20 years ago.

He said in his autobiography that he punched a man who approached him with a knife, then threw him into a canal in Amsterdam in 1988.

The 46-year-old was detained under a European arrest warrant yesterday at Heathrow Airport, after landing at Terminal 3 from a business trip in South Africa.

He appeared in the dock at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, wearing grey tracksuit bottoms, a green T-shirt and a hooded top. De Mooi, who lives with his husband in ­Caldicot, Wales, is opposing his extradition and was released on bail to appear at the court on 28 November for an extradition hearing.

Prosecutor Brian Gibbins said: “This is an allegation relating to matters of manslaughter, murder, assault and assault by battery. It relates to an incident said to have taken place in 1988 in Amsterdam.

“It appears the defendant, a TV personality, wrote an autobiography. And in that autobiography it said that the defendant claimed that whilst living in Amsterdam in 1988 he may have killed a drug addict who was attempting to mug him by punching him and throwing him into a canal in Amsterdam.

“It is understood that person had a knife with him, it was said that the defendant punched his assailant square in the face, disarmed him and threw him in the canal. On the face of the warrant he is wanted for further questions.”

Chris Stevens, representing de Mooi, said there was a “lot of missing information” from the warrant.

“The words were in his own book, the information provided in that book,” he added.

“There doesn’t appear to be a named victim in the warrant, date of birth or even an address where this matter took place.”

He said the inquiry by the Dutch authorities was based on “something that might have happened” and which “could arguably be self defence”.

Mr Stevens continued: “There isn’t anything to suggest the Dutch authorities are in a position to charge him with this.”

De Mooi was approached by Scotland Yard for questioning by Dutch police in February this year, the court was told.

He agreed to be questioned but only if it was “formally in an interview setting with the appropriate protection”.

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