Home News Dutch hiking guide to return from Spain

Dutch hiking guide to return from Spain

Published on 11/05/2004

11 May 2004

AMSTERDAM — Despite being charged and facing prosecution, a 39-year-old Dutch hiking guide is returning home to the Netherlands on Tuesday with survivors of a fatal hiking trip in the Sierra Nevada in Spain last week.

Identified as Sonja van Z., the guide has been charged with culpable homicide. A Spanish judge ordered on Monday that her role in the deaths of three Dutch nationals be further investigated.

Van Z. allegedly ignored warnings from local police not to attempt the hike on 5 May due to bad weather. The hikers died as a snowstorm closed in during their trek on the Mulhacén Mountain to a hut at an altitude of 2,500m.

Van Z. has been allowed to return home, but will be required to report to the Spanish consulate every month, Dutch news agency ANP reported.

Six surviving hikers and the guide will arrive early Tuesday afternoon at Rotterdam Airport on a flight from Malaga. They will be accompanied by the emergency assistance team set up by the Dutch motorists association ANWB.

The two women who broke off the hiking trip early and returned to their hotel will fly in to Brussels, Belgium. The bodies of the three deceased victims will be flown home to the Netherlands also on Tuesday.

A judge in Orgiva — located about 30km south-east of Granada — heard testimony from the eight hikers and the Dutch guide on Monday, but the Foreign Affairs Ministry could not provide further details about the pending investigation

The ANWB said it was relieved the survivors could return home because these types of investigations take a long time, Dutch public news service NOS reported.

The director of the travel company that organised the trip, Intertrek regretted the fact that an official investigation had been launched. But Piet Boorsma also said he was also relieved Van Z. could return home.

Van Z. was freelance travel guide, who worked on a daily basis as a biology teacher at the Amsterdam school Hervormd Lyceum West. She has been described as an involved, good colleague who held a large amount of responsibility at the school.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news + Spanish news