Press Review Friday 7 May 2010
Although a couple of today's papers lead with projections about the outcome of yesterday's British election, the big domestic news concerns the February 2009 Turkish Airlines plane crash at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.
Report damning on Amsterdam plane crash The Dutch Safety Board has taken over 14 months to publish its devastating report on the crash, says Trouw. Nine people, including the three pilots, were killed and 120 people injured. The document points to three guilty parties: the Turkish pilots, the United States plane manufacturer Boeing and the Turkish Airlines operator. The question, according to the paper, is whether the accident could have been avoided and who should be held responsible. It was already known that a faulty altimeter registered the wrong height and caused the automatic pilot to begin to land the plane too soon. However, the pilots failed to respond properly to a number of warnings that something was wrong. They were apparently too busy filling in various paperwork which had to be completed before landing. The board concludes that many instances of faulty altimeters have gone unreported and that this has led to Boeing being complacent about the problem. Although human error played a part in the tragedy, training at Turkish Airlines is also criticised. The paper says the victims of the crash and relatives of the dead are already seeking compensation from Boeing through the US courts. "The mental problems of the victims have made a deep impression on me," says one of their lawyers. They see the report as confirmation that the altimeter was the technical course of the crash. A crash survivor tells Trouw that the report shows Boeing was aware of the altimeter fault in the aircraft. He also says it has again been made clear that "the pilots did nothing for a whole two minutes". 'Chemical castration' for sex offenders The government advisory body RSJ the Council for the Administration of Criminal Justice and Protection of Juveniles says sex offenders being treated in secure clinics have the right to choose to be 'chemically castrated'. Several clinics are not keeping to agreed guidelines on offering the treatment, with some clinicians refusing to prescribe the drugs on principle. De Volkskrant explains that drugs which can drastically reduce a patient's sex drive have increasingly been prescribed for sex offenders over recent years. However, long-term use can result in horrific side-effects. Sex offender David tells the paper: "They told me I'd have no chance of probation without chemical castration." The drugs made his mind "peaceful", but he has had to have incipient breasts surgically removed, has gained 15 kilos and is suffering from bone decalcification. The RSJ rejects the call from some MPs for sex offenders not to be considered for parole if they are not on the libido-reducing drugs. It also says that many secure clinics mistakenly believe that only 'chemically castrated' offenders are eligible for parole and that the justice ministry should publish guidelines on the subject. Authorities apologise after murders Nrc.next reports that the prosecution authorities have admitted failing to inform a woman in Zierikzee, a small town in the southwest of the Netherlands, that her violent husband had been released from prison in February. The man went on to murder two of their three children and then commit suicide. He had been jailed last year for domestic violence offences and was freed in January. It was thought he still posed a threat to his wife and family and he was jailed again on remand for suspected offences including sexually abusing his daughter. However, says de Volkskrant, he was released after two weeks. The court which ordered his release is reported to have been aware of the risks but is refusing to give the reasons for its decision. The prosecution authorities have now apologised for the fact that the man's wife and the police were not informed that he had again been freed. DNA confession to 1993 murder Still with violent crime, De Telegraaf devotes part of its front page to report that a man has confessed to murdering 15-year-old Andrea Luten 17 years ago. The man was not considered a suspect at the time. However, he had to give a DNA sample in March after being found guilty of domestic violence. It was found to match samples from the 1993 murder scene. "He's been behaving differently since the DNA was taken," a regular at the man's local bar tells the paper's mass-circulation readership. "Before, he was reasonably calm despite drinking a lot ...he's become more aggressive and agitated." AD also gives the story front-page treatment and quotes the murdered girl's mother: "I want him to get the harshest sentence, but I don't think anyone will listen to me. But I believe that someone who robs an innocent child of 15 of life, a girl who's right at the blossoming of her life, has, as far as I'm concerned, lost all his rights." A quiet cup final Both AD and De Telegraaf include a more uplifting story on their front pages. AD pictures Ajax football club's star striker Luis Suarez holding aloft the Dutch FA Cup. The Amsterdam team walked away with the prize yesterday after beating arch-rivals Feyenoord 4-1 away in Rotterdam. The cup final was played in two games because of the threat of massive violence by hooligan fans. The first was held in Amsterdam with only Ajax supporters present. The home club won 2-0. The second leg took place yesterday in Rotterdam with only Feyenoord fans allowed in the ground. De Telegraaf says that by the time the winning team received the cup, the stands were almost empty.
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