Pollster offers to apologise over murder claim
23 June 2006, AMSTERDAM — Maurice de Hond had offered to apologise to a handyman he accused of murdering a wealthy widow in Deventer.
23 June 2006
AMSTERDAM — Maurice de Hond had offered to apologise to a handyman he accused of murdering a wealthy widow in Deventer.
De Hond, who runs an opinion poll company, made the offer in a letter sent to the head of the prosecution service (OM) on Thursday.
But he has made the apology conditional on the authorities publishing a preliminary review that established tax lawyer Ernest Louwes was correctly convicted of the murder. De Hond believes Louwes is a victim of a miscarriage of justice.
The pollster warned he would take legal steps against the OM if the report is not published.
Earlier this month the OM ruled out re-opening the criminal investigation into the murder of wealthy widow Jacqueline Wittenberg, 60, almost seven years ago. Louwes, her tax adviser and executor of her will, has always denied responsibility.
He was jailed for 12 years in 2000 after he was convicted of stabbing the woman to death in Deventer in September 1999. The verdict was confirmed by an appeals court in 2004.
De Hond has accused the victim's handyman, identified only as Michael de J., and De J.'s girlfriend of involvement in the killing.
Lawyer Jan Vlug confirmed that the handyman is launching legal action against De Hond for defamation.
The OM reviewed the case based on De Hond's claims they had convicted the wrong man.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news