Bosnian atrocities 'played role in Maja murder'
7 May 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Psychiatric experts have claimed atrocities witnessed by an 18-year-old murder suspect in his native Bosnia played a large role in the gruesome killing of 16-year-old school girl Maja Bradaric in the Netherlands last year.
7 May 2004
AMSTERDAM — Psychiatric experts have claimed atrocities witnessed by an 18-year-old murder suspect in his native Bosnia played a large role in the gruesome killing of 16-year-old school girl Maja Bradaric in the Netherlands last year.
The defence lawyer said on Friday experts with the judiciary’s observation clinic, Pieter Baan Centrum (PBC), claim suspect Goran M. must be considered to have had diminished accountability at the time of the 17 November murder.
The experts have advised Arnhem Court that M. should be sentenced to TBS psychiatric detention with compulsory treatment, Dutch news agency ANP reported.
Nijmegen school girl Maja was strangled in a car on the night of 17 November and her body dumped near the town of Bemmel and set alight. Passers-by found the burning corpse shortly after midnight.
Maja was not sexually assaulted and she was dead before her body was set alight. She was buried in Nijmegen on 26 November.
But the PBC is unsure why M. wanted to murder Maja. The defence lawyer said his client — who has no criminal record — was thrill seeking.
The lawyer said it started as fantasy he shared with co-accused Ferdi O. and both suspects did not want to be outdone by each other. “But he still does not precisely know why Maja had to die,” the lawyer said.
M. was 6 when war broke out in the Balkans during the break-up of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s and he migrated to the Netherlands with his family at the age of 10. His lawyer claims that the suspect witnessed many atrocities in his native country.
Although the PBC concluded after conducting a psychiatric examination of the suspect that he could not be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, it said he “is fascinated by death”.
The suspect — who has confessed to the killing — has informed the court that if he is sentenced to TBS detention, he wants to start his treatment immediately rather than wait until the end of a long jail term. TBS allows for life detention if a criminal is not considered cured and recommended for release.
Meanwhile, the lawyer for co-accused O., also aged 18, has dismissed a PBC finding O. is not scared of his co-accused.
O. had earlier requested to be held in remand custody away from M. because he feared for his safety.
The PBC has also said that O. — who has also confessed — was aware of the consequences of the murder and should be considered fully accountable for his actions. But his lawyer is demanding an independent assessment be carried out by a behavioural expert.
The court case is due to start in Arnhem Court on Wednesday 12 May, but it is uncertain whether the trial will begin or whether it will be a pre-trial hearing.
The PBC report was made available to defence lawyers on Thursday and both of them have indicated they will need more time to prepare their cases. The defence lawyers will request the trial to be adjourned to a later date.
A third suspect in the case, 16-year-old Nijmegen boy Goran P., also faces prosecution. P. is alleged to have witnessed the murder. He was also ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news