Leaked memo not a confession, prosecution says

8th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

8 September 2005, AMSTERDAM — The public prosecutor's office (OM) has insisted that an internal memo leaked to the media on Thursday should not be seen as a confession the service deliberately withheld evidence in a child murder case.

8 September 2005

AMSTERDAM — The public prosecutor's office (OM) has insisted that an internal memo leaked to the media on Thursday should not be seen as a confession the service deliberately withheld evidence in a child murder case.

OM boss Harm Brouwer wrote the memo to his senior staff on Tuesday in relation to Cees B., the man who was sentenced to 18 years for the murder of Nienke Kleiss, 10, in Schiedam in 2000.

B. served four years but was released last January when another man admitted he killed the girl.

Harm Brouwer wrote in the memo that the forensic institute (NFI) had raised doubts about the guilt of Cees B. after finding a DNA profile that did not match B. or Nienke.  "In hindsight it would have been better to have informed the judges about this doubt," Brouwer wrote in the memo.

The OM said on Thursday a re-evaluation of the case found the Appeals Court which freed B. should have been made aware of the doubts. But the service continues to insist there was no deliberate attempt to withhold evidence.

News programme NOVA quoted from the leaked document on Wednesday night, 24 hours after Brouwer appeared on the programme and denied the OM had withheld evidence.

"For the first time in history, the NFI let it be known during a discussion with the officer in charge of this case that there doubts about B.'s guilt," the top legal official wrote.

But Brouwer insisted during his interview with NOVA that the OM had not withheld evidence. Instead he suggested the NFI may have decided not to include vague trace evidence in its final report — something it is entitled to do.

Nienke and her 11-year-old friend Maikel were attacked by a man in the Beatrixpark in Schiedam in June 2000. Nienke was raped and murdered, but Maikel survived by pretending to be dead after he was severely assaulted.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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