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09/12/2004DNA 'clears' jailed man of girl's death
9 December 2004
AMSTERDAM — Justice officials in Rotterdam have confirmed they are working to have a man's murder conviction quashed in the Supreme Court. New DNA evidence has pointed the finger of guilt at another person, who has allegedly admitted the killing.
A Vlaardingen man, accurately identifiable only as B. (the first initial of his last name), was sentenced on appeal to 18 years in jail almost four years ago for the murder of Nienke Kleiss, 10, in 2000.
The victim's friend, Maikel, 11, was also assaulted in the same incident in Beatrixpark in Schiedam, but survived the attack by pretending to be dead, NOS Nieuws reported on Thursday.
But prosecutors now assert that DNA evidence has indicated with "a high degree of certainty" that W. H., a 25-year-old man from Hoek van Holland, was the perpetrator.
Justice officials have confirmed to the media that a sample of B.'s DNA is similar to the DNA evidence found at the scene of the killing on Kleiss' body, but the two don't match.
Earlier DNA tests proved inconclusive, but the investigation was re-opened after H. allegedly confessed to the murder.
A new DNA technique has since produced findings that cast serious doubt on B's guilt. His conviction was earlier upheld on appeal, but prosecution officials are now moving to request the man's release in the Supreme Court.
One of B.'s lawyers has demanded that he be released as quickly as possible, also informing broadcaster NOS that a significant compensation claim will be lodged with Dutch authorities.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news
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