'Everything went wrong' in Nienke's case
13 September 2005, AMSTERDAM — Everything that could have went wrong in the Nienke Kleiss murder investigation, according to a report by a special commission published on Tuesday.
13 September 2005
AMSTERDAM — Everything that could have went wrong in the Nienke Kleiss murder investigation, according to a report by a special commission published on Tuesday.
An innocent man Cees B. served four years of an 18-year sentence for killing Nienke, 10. He was freed in January when another man apparently confessed to the crime.
Harm Brouwer, the head of the Dutch prosecution service OM, vowed the travesty of justice would happen "once and never again".
The commission that reviewed the conduct of the police and prosecutors involved in the case described the investigation as "a chain of carelessness and failures of judgement".
In response, the management of the prosecution service has instructed Procurator-General Herman Bolhaar to prepare a programme of improvements in relation to investigations and prosecutions by November.
The commission report presented on Tuesday said grave mistakes were made in the investigation into Nienke's murder right from the beginning. The girl's body was removed from the scene of the crime in Beatrix Park in Schiedam before the area and her body was technically examined.
Her remains were placed in a body bag prior to the forensic examination resulting in the loss or possible contamination of any trace evidence, the report said.
The victim's friend Maikel, 11, was never taken seriously as a witness even though he survived the attack by pretending to be dead.
After suspect Cees B. confessed to killing Nienke, prosecutors turned a blind eye to the statements made by Maikel. B. later retracted his confession.
Earlier this month it was revealed that prosecutors did not alert the court that forensic evidence not connected to Nienke, Maikel or B, had been found on her body.
The prosecution service repeated denials on Tuesday that evidence had been deliberately withheld and continued to stick to the line established by Brouwer last week that "indisputable errors" had been made.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news