Dutch woman escapes hike deaths prosecution
30 July 2004 , AMSTERDAM — The Dutch travel leader who led a fatal mountain hike in the Spanish Sierra Nevada in May will not be prosecuted by Spanish authorities for her role in the tragedy, it was reported Friday.
30 July 2004
AMSTERDAM — The Dutch travel leader who led a fatal mountain hike in the Spanish Sierra Nevada in May will not be prosecuted by Spanish authorities for her role in the tragedy, it was reported Friday.
Three Dutch tourists were killed when snowstorms closed in around them. But the Dutch company that organised the tour, Intertrek, said it had been told the prosecution has advised a Spanish court against prosecuting the travel leader.
A Spanish judge indicted 39-year-old Sonja van Z. in May on allegations of serious negligence during the hiking trip. The allegation was akin to a charge of culpable homicide.
But Van Z. was allowed to return home from Granada to the Netherlands soon after the tragedy on the condition she report every month to the Spanish consulate.
She had been accused of starting out on the trek with a group of 11 other hikers in poor weather conditions. The group wanted to climb the Mulhacen mountain, despite the fact local authorities warned against attempting the climb that day.
Two women returned early from the hike to their hotel before the other hikers encountered problems. Three other hikers died from exposure as storms closed in.
A fourth hiker was admitted to hospital suffering from hypothermia and slipped into a coma, but later recovered consciousness.
Intertrek suspended its hiking trips in the Spanish Sierra after the fatalities, but a spokeswoman told Expatica on Friday that the company would like to resume its activities once the Spanish inquiries have been completed.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news