Dutch music traders take legal action over ownership of rare Beatles recordings

The pair want nearly £500,000, and allege illegal confiscation of the valuable Beatles tapes

Stan Snelleman and Jos Remmerswaal – a pair of Dutch music traders – are pursuing a civil claim over the alleged ‘unlawful seizing’ of more than 500 behind the scenes audio recordings by The Beatles made in 1969, demanding almost £500,000 in compensation.

The tapes, known as the ‘Get Back Sessions’, are said to reveal tensions among the fab four as their career began to show signs of strain. As well as recordings, the tapes also feature conversations between the members.

The Telegraph reports that the tapes were seized by British and Dutch police 12 years ago, and returned to Apple Films Ltd, the company owned by The Beatles and their heirs.

Apple Films Ltd allege that the tapes were stolen, and have already had an initial case taken by Snelleman and Remmerswaal found in their favour. The follow-up is expected to be heard in The Hague appeals court in January 2016. The traders are pursuing a civil case for damages of €650,000 (£459,000) plus €50,000 in costs from the Dutch state.

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Nigel Oliver and Colin Dillon – both British citizens – were charged with theft of the tapes back in 2006, with Snelleman and Remmerswaal also charged with handling stolen goods. Oliver was found guilty, and handed a suspended sentence for attempted to sell the tapes, while the case against the two Dutch men was dropped.

The original purchase of the tapes by the Dutch traders is said to have cost 80,000 guilders (£25,400).

Speaking of the appeal Snelleman told The Telegraph “If Apple [Films] already believed that the tapes were missing in the nineties, why didn’t they report the theft then? Apple just wanted the tapes back. The theft has nothing to do with it. We have become the victims of all this, and we want the tapes back. They are still ours.”

The tapes are believed to be hugely commercially valuable.

Ringo Starr, meanwhile, is to put the first ever copy of ‘The White Album’ up for auction next month, with the numbered LP expected to sell for around £40,000.

Paul McCartney has appealed to David Cameron to push the idea of ‘Meat Free Mondays‘, saying: “Meat production depletes precious resources to increasingly unsustainable levels.”