‘Angel of death’ begins mammoth appeal
28 January 2004
AMSTERDAM — Former Dutch nurse Lucy de Berk began an appeal Wednesday against her conviction last year of killing patients under her care at hospitals in The Hague. She was dubbed the ‘angel of death’ in the media but maintains she is innocent.
The appeal hearing is scheduled to run for 22 days, and as such will be one of the longest in Dutch legal history. Both the defence and prosecution teams have lined up dozens of witnesses and experts to testify to the court.
The nurse is appealing against the convictions, saying she is totally innocence. The prosecution is also appealing on the basis that she should not have been have been cleared of nine other murder counts and two of attempted murder.
De Berk, 42, was convicted in September 2003 of four murders and three attempted murders at three hospitals in The Hague. Three of the murder victims were infants and one was an elderly woman.
The nurse had originally been charged with killing 13 patients and attempted murder of five others between 1997 and 2002. De Berk has always denied all the charges.
She blamed some of the deaths on faulty equipment and claimed that doctors did not take her seriously when she told them a patient was more seriously ill than they thought.
During her trial, it was alleged she killed her victims with lethal injections of drugs. The prosecution contended that she was a psychopathic personality who was obsessed with death.
The three judges hearing the trial eventually decided that while there were no eyewitness accounts of the killings, there was sufficient circumstantial evidence to convict her of killing four patients and trying to kill three others.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news