‘Killer nurse’ was off at time of killing attempt
24 February 2004
AMSTERDAM — Convicted serial killer Lucia de Berk was not on duty at a hospital on the day she is accused of trying to murder an elderly cancer patient, a defence lawyer claimed on Tuesday.
The patient died on 1 February 1997 in the Leyenburg Hospital in The Hague, but a defence lawyer has obtained service rosters indicating that De Berk was not scheduled to work for three days from 31 January to 2 February of that same year.
Various witness have claimed that De Berk was involved in the patient’s death and a court in The Hague ruled last year that De Berk had tried to kill the patient by allowing a morphine drip to empty its content’s into the patient’s body.
It was one of four murders and three attempted murders that De Berk was convicted of last year, news agency ANP reported. De Berk was sentenced to life in prison, but her appeal is being heard in a court in The Hague.
The public prosecution suspects De Berk of 13 murders and five attempted murders, but the court dismissed 11 of the allegations in convicting her of the other seven. The prosecution appealed against the ruling to prove more of the allegations.
Dubbed the “angel of death” in the media, De Berk has appealed against her conviction, claiming that she is innocent of all charges.
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.
Meanwhile, De Berk’s defence lawyer has had doubts for some time about his client’s involvement in the February 1997 incident.
But the lawyer had not previously requested the service rosters because they could have worsened the case against De Berk. But because the nurse has already been convicted, the rosters cannot damage her defence.
The appeals court in The Hague will hear witness testimony on Thursday.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news