OM denies hiding evidence in murder case
7 September 2005
AMSTERDAM — The public prosecution service (OM) made “indisputable mistakes” in the case against the man wrongfully convicted of killing Nienke Kleiss, 10, the top legal official in the Netherlands has admitted.
But Harm Brouwer, chairman of the national leadership of the OM, insisted on news programme NOVA on Tuesday evening that evidence was not concealed by the prosecution.
He denied suggestions made on Monday in another news programme that DNA evidence proving the accused man Cees B. was innocent was withheld from the defence.
Cees B, 33, served four years of an 18-year sentence for the murder of Nienke Kleiss, 10, before he was freed in January this year when another man apparently admitted to killing the girl.
Nienke and her 11-year-old friend Maikel were attacked by a man in the Beatrixpark in Schiedam in June 2000. Nienke was raped and murdered, but Maikel survived by pretending to be dead after he was severely assaulted.
Brouwer said the national forensics institute (NFI), which carried out tests on items collected by police from the murder scene, can decide whether all findings are included in its final report.
He said the NFI did not use the DNA evidence in the case against B. because the experts felt it could have come from anywhere.
When NOVA displayed a NFI document referring to a DNA trace from a third individual, not relating to either of the two victims or the accused man, Brouwer replied he had not seen this document before.
He suggested the NFI must not have mentioned this DNA profile in its report and therefore the information never got to the prosecution or the court.
Brouwer said the forensic institute had to give a clear explanation of what happened. He described the situation as exceptional sad. He also said it was also educational and added: “we made mistakes. Shouldn’t we have looked more critically at this case?”
Brouwer would not outline what he thought went wrong in this case as it is the subject of an independent inquiry.
Meanwhile, Cees B. is threatening to sue to the prosecution service and the NFI.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news