British hunger striker denied hospital move

25th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

25 November 2004, AMSTERDAM — British hunger striker Kevin Sweeney has not yet been moved to a prison hospital in the Netherlands. He has refused to eat for a total of 100 days in a bid to win a review of his conviction for murdering his wife.

25 November 2004

AMSTERDAM — British hunger striker Kevin Sweeney has not yet been moved to a prison hospital in the Netherlands. He has refused to eat for a total of 100 days in a bid to win a review of his conviction for murdering his wife.

A spokesperson for the Dutch Justice Ministry said on Thursday that Sweeney will only be transferred from his cell in Vught prison to the prison hospital in Scheveningen "when his medical condition requires it".

Prison officials do not negotiate with individual prisoners. All prisoners, she said, are afforded the same privileges.

Lawyers for Sweeney want him to be moved to hospital. They say he has been told he will only be moved when he loses consciousness.  Sweeney has signed a declaration stating he does not want doctors to intervene if he slips into a coma.

Sweeney, 54, is demanding access to a computer to allow him to study CD-ROMs of forensic evidence to help him argue for a new review of his conviction.

He was sentence to 13 years in jail in 2001 for murdering his third wife, Suzanne Davis, in a fire at the couple's home in Steensel in the south of the Netherlands on the night of 16 July 1995.

Sweeney began his hunger strike on 7 July. He suspended it following talks, but re-commenced after a few days. He claims the prison authorities reneged on a "deal" that would have given him more flexibility to prepare his appeal.

He stopped taking two mineral drinks a day on 29 October and is surviving on just water and weak tea with sugar.

Sweeney told Expatica earlier this month that he was prepared to die if he is not given the right to a fair trial. The Dutch authorities, he said, have frustrated his every effort to get due process.

The Justice Ministry argues that reviewing documentation and potential evidence is a task for his lawyers.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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