Dutch news in brief – 3 June 2004
Euthanasia allowed in some dementia cases
Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner has backed a decision by the Procurators-General Council (Attorneys-General Council) that dementia can — in accordance with strict conditions — be a valid reason for euthanasia. The council decided on 8 October last year that a doctor who acceded to an Alzheimer patient’s request for help to kill him or herself should not be prosecuted. The council said Alzheimer’s on its own is not sufficient reason for euthanasia, but can be if accompanied by unbearable and hopeless suffering. Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, but is governed by strict regulation, including evidence the patient requested the procedure and that all the alternatives were clearly outlined.
Bot: EU must give back some powers
Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot has said the European Union must surrender the authority over some policy areas such as agriculture and give back control to member states. He has warned that if the EU cannot revive the link between the politicians and citizens, this could lead to a “flight” back to the nation states and fragmentation of Europe. Bot made his comments on Wednesday during a speech at Berlin’s Humboldt University about the future of the EU.
MPs query link between Dutch and Israeli pilots
MPs have asked the Dutch Defence Ministry to clarify whether Dutch pilots share tips with their Israeli counterparts about the Apache attack helicopter. Both countries have a squadron of the US-built helicopters and magazine Elsevier has claimed that Dutch pilots discuss battle techniques and use of the electronic equipment with Israeli pilots. Dutch Defence Minister Henk Kemp has been called on to explain the level of co-operation with Israel over the helicopters, which have frequently been used to assassinate Palestinian militants. The Dutch air force say there is no formal contact with Israeli pilots, except that they train alongside each other in Texas.
Man in car trunk was murdered
The man whose body was discovered in the trunk of a car in Rotterdam on Tuesday was murdered, an autopsy has confirmed. The police have refused to comment on their investigation or say how the man died. Newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported that the body had probably been in car for about four weeks before it was discovered.
Missing TBS detainee arrested
Justice Minister Piet-Hein Donner has demanded answers over the number of TBS psychiatric patients who have not returned to detention clinics after being granted provisional leave. His demand came shortly before Amsterdam police arrested a 28-year-old man who had failed to return to the Amsterdam wing of TBS clinic Flevo Future. Mohammed B. had been convicted of the shooting murder of cigar trader Andre Hartman in Amsterdam East in 1993. He had been sentenced to six years jail and TBS psychiatric treatment, but alarm was raised last week when it was revealed he was missing from the TBS clinic. The man was arrested on Friday night (28 May) in Amsterdam North. Minister Donner has raised concern about the matter, due in part to revelations that the kidnapper of Wei Wei Hu, 13, had also failed to return to a TBS clinic while on provisional leave last month. The man was arrested in Germany at the time of Wei Wei’s rescue.
Disabled man acquitted for shooting robber dead
A disabled man who shot and killed a robber at his business in Leidschendam was found not guilty of manslaughter in a court in The Hague recently. But defendant Cees Gardien, aged in his 70s, was convicted of illegal weapon possession and sentenced to eight months jail. The time spent in remand custody, about 3.5 months, was subtracted off the man’s final sentence. Gardien was confronted at his car yard business on 15 December 2003 by four robbers in balaclavas. He shot and killed one of them and the court ruled on 27 May that because he acted in self-defence, Gardien could not be convicted on manslaughter charges.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news