Child abuse lawyers against parents speaking

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Lawyers acting for the main defendant in an infamous Dutch child abuse case are objecting to parents of the abused children being allowed to speak in court.

Parents should not be allowed to speak about what happened to their children at the trial, say lawyers for Robert Mikelsons. Mr Mikelsons is charged with the systematic serious abuse of dozens of babies and young children when he worked as a child minder at an Amsterdam crèche.

The lawyers say that as soon as Mikelsons’ trial officially begins on Monday, they intend to cite a ruling handed down on Tuesday by the Court of Appeal. It specifies that recent legislation only allows crime victims themselves to speak at trials.

Right to speak At the end of last year, the trial judge for the case decided to allow the parents of the victims to address the court because the children were unable to speak for themselves.

The law is due to be changed to give judges more flexibility in allowing people to speak for victims of crime in court. The two defence lawyers point out, though, that the change has not yet reached the statute book.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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