False conviction claim in 1999 murder
Investigators have discovered new evidence in the Deventer murder case of 1999. The Volkskrant reports on the basis of information from a confidential report from the investigation.
In September 1999, the wealthy widow Jacqueline Wittenberg (60) was found dead in her home in Deventer. The executor of her will, Ernest Louwes, was accused of the murder. He was acquitted in 2000, but convicted later that year when the case was appealed to a higher court. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Louwes' lawyer, Geert-Jan Knoops, says he cannot yet go into details about the new developments. However, according to de Volkskrant, detectives have found new indications that the victim was not choked and stabbed on Thursday the 23rd, but Friday the 24th of September, 1999. Louwes has an alibi for that day.
Available images and other evidence materials reveal that the body was moved six to 24 hours after the death. This would mean that a second, unknown man was present at the scene of the crime before Wittenberg was discovered.
The Supreme Court is now processing a request for a review in order to re-open this case. Louwes has always stated his innocence.
This particular case has seen a few controversies since it first began. The demonstration of evidence has been contested, as several mistakes have been made. A knife was wrongly concluded to be the murder weapon, it later seemed. There was a re-trial, but Louwes was convicted again.