Puzzle as second man admits child’s murder
17 September 2004
AMSTERDAM — A Rotterdam man has admitted the murder of a 10-year-old girl in 2000, prompting Dutch justice officials to reopen the case and investigate whether another man sentenced to 18 years in jail for the gruesome killing was innocent.
The new suspect was arrested on another matter, but police say he voluntarily confessed to killing the 10-year-old girl Nienke Kleiss. The 25-year-old man withdrew the confession a day later, but is still being held in custody.
Nienke, of Schiedam, was raped and strangled in broad daylight in Beatrixpark in Rotterdam on 22 June 2000.
Her friend, Maikel, 11, was physically assaulted and left for dead. The boy survived the incident, but was left seriously traumatised, RTL News reported on Friday.
The children were playing together in the park when they were attacked. The severely-injured Maikel was later able to alert passers-by.
Police arrested a suspect several months after the murder. The Vlaardingen man, 31, was later convicted, having confessed to the crime. But the defendant later withdrew his confession, saying he had had been put under police pressure.
Maikel did not recognise the man convicted for the crime and justice officials failed to find any DNA material linking him to the attack.
Defence lawyer Gerard Spong said DNA evidence was found under Nienke’s nails and if this matches the new suspect’s DNA, there is a very good chance that the case will be reconsidered.
The man was sentenced on appeal in The Hague to 18 years jail and TBS psychiatric detention in 2002.
The Supreme Court ruled last week that the investigation into the murder should not be re-opened and it is now being speculated the real culprit confessed out of remorse.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news