Man 'falsely convicted' of child murder is freed

10th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

10 December 2004 , AMSTERDAM — The man who was almost certainly wrongfully convicted of murdering 10-year-old Nienke Kleiss is being temporarily released from prison following new DNA tests which appears to clear him of the brutal killing.

10 December 2004

AMSTERDAM — The man who was almost certainly wrongfully convicted of murdering 10-year-old Nienke Kleiss is being temporarily released from prison following new DNA tests which appears to clear him of the brutal killing.

The man's release, scheduled for Friday, came after the public prosecutor (OM) revealed on Thursday that recent DNA tests had indicated the possible innocence of the 35-year-old detainee, identified as B., of Vlaardingen.

The tests instead pointed the finger of guilt to a 25-year-old Rotterdam man, identified only as Wik H., who was arrested in July for a sex offence. The Kleiss case was re-opened after H. confessed to the girl's murder and the assault of her 11-year-old friend Maikel.

DNA tests could not immediately prove the man's confession, but a subsequent test later gave greater certainty as to his guilt.

B. was sentenced on appeal to an 18-year jail term and TBS psychiatric detention for the rape and murder of Kleiss and attempted murder of Maikel in the Beatrixpark in Schiedam in 2000.

Despite an initial confession, various experts raised strong doubts about B.'s guilt. The description of the culprit given by Maikel did not match B, while DNA evidence found at the scene of the crime did not match either.

But now that new evidence has indicated to "a high degree of certainty" that the Rotterdam man W. committed the murder, the public prosecutor has ordered B.'s release. This does not mean that his detention has been definitely dismissed.

The man's release has instead been described as a "deferment of sentence" for a maximum of three months. The Supreme Court will be required to give a ruling over his possible acquittal and the prosecutor's office in The Hague expects the ruling to be handed down in January.

B.'s defence lawyers had demanded the immediate release of their client on Thursday. They also indicated a hefty compensation claim would be lodged with Dutch authorities.

[Copyright Novum Nieuws 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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