Expatica news

British hunger striker awaits move to hospital

26 November 2004

Amsterdam — British businessman Kevin Sweeney is expected to be moved shortly to a secure hospital from a Dutch prison where he is on hunger strike.

Sweeney, 54, began his fast in July in a bid to force the authorities to allow him to prepare a new appeal against his conviction for murdering his wife.

Suzanne Davies, 35, died in a fire at their home in the southern Dutch town of Steensel in 1995. He claims the Dutch authorities have frustrated his attempts to get a fair trial.

His case has already been looked at once by the Supreme Court after what has been described as one of the longest running criminal trial in Dutch legal history.

Sweeney reported told his sister in a phone call on Thursday evening that the governor of Vught prison wanted to move him to a prison hospital near The Hague because his blood pressure has fallen to alarmingly low levels.

A spokeswoman for the Dutch Justice Ministry said she could not comment on any decisions made in the case due to privacy reasons. But she did confirm Sweeney would probably be moved to hospital soon, perhaps even as early as Friday.

Lawyer Sabine Zanker of the UK-based charity Fair Trials Abroad said Dutch Justice Ministry Piet Hein Donner was asked about the case when he attended a meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on Thursday.

Donner told MEPs a meeting would take place on 2 December to address 21 formal objections lodged by Sweeney in relation to his detention.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news