Ex-Eggheads star CJ de Mooi in court over alleged killing

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CJ de MooiImage source, PA

CJ de Mooi, a former panellist on BBC quiz show Eggheads, has appeared in court after his arrest on a European arrest warrant for an alleged killing.

Scotland Yard said the 46-year-old from Monmouthshire had been arrested at Heathrow Airport on Wednesday.

Westminster Magistrates' Court heard the warrant related to allegations of manslaughter, murder, assault and battery in Amsterdam in 1988.

Mr de Mooi appeared under the name, Connagh Joseph.

The warrant was issued in May by Dutch authorities who are requesting the opportunity for "further questioning".

'Missing information'

Prosecutor Brian Gibbins said: "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."

Image source, 12 Yard Productions
Image caption,
CJ de Mooi, centre, on the set of BBC TV quiz show Eggheads

Chris Stevens, representing Mr de Mooi, said there was a "lot of missing information" in the warrant, such as a named victim, date of birth or a location of the incident.

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

Mr Stevens added: "There isn't anything to suggest the Dutch authorities are in a position to charge him with this."

In court, Mr de Mooi, dressed in a green T-shirt and hooded top, confirmed his name, age and address.

Magistrates granted Mr de Mooi bail on the condition he does not travel overseas, sleeps at his home address every night and keeps a charged mobile phone with him at all times.

He was ordered to attend a further hearing in November.

'Wrong day'

His autobiography, published last year, describes an incident in which Mr de Mooi says he attacked a man while he lived on the streets.

Mr de Mooi said he punched a man who approached him with a knife and then threw him into a canal in the Dutch city of Amsterdam in 1988.

In an interview in 2015 with the Daily Mirror which serialised the book, he was quoted as saying: "He caught me on the wrong day and I just snapped.

"I punched him so hard in the face, knocked the knife out of his hand and threw him in the canal. I fully suspect I killed him. I've no idea what happened to him," he added.

Mr de Mooi, originally from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, adopted the name de Mooi when modelling.

He became a panellist on Eggheads in 2003 after winning a series of game shows.

The BBC Two show pits a team of five quiz champions against different challengers.

  • Clarification 9 August 2019: An earlier version of this article reported that CJ de Mooi wrote in his autobiography that he may have killed a man. This has been amended to make clear that he made these comments in an interview accompanying the serialisation of his book, and not in the book itself.