Police accused of manipulating murder confession

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File photo showing a police arrest. Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Lionel Allorge

The case surrounding the murder of Heidy Goedhart from Kaatsheuvel seemed to be neatly wrapped up when her partner, Wim S., confessed to killing her last year. But experts are now calling the confession unreliable and worthless, because of the way that the police manipulated the suspect into giving it, Brabants Dagblad reports based on the police file on the case.

Heidy Goedhart was found dead in her home in 2010. She had been strangled. Her partner, Wim S., was arrested and in custody for three months, but eventually released due to lack of evidence.

In 2013 the police launched a major undercover operation in  an effort to get S. to confess. For one year 16 officers pulled out all the stops to get a confession. It started with one officer crashing crashing into S.' car, in order to make contact with him. S., who had money problems, was befriended and drawn in with a job offer for a security company. The police did not hold back. Actions to win S.' trust included meetings in the upmarket Spanish resort Marbella, IT contracts worth thousands of euros and even a ride on a Harley Davidson. A total of 34 thousand euros was spent on him.

The officers finally managed to get a confession in 2014 in Marbella. S. was offered work, on the condition that he confessed to the murder. At first S. denied the claim. But after learning that this would cost him the job, he confessed to strangling Goedhart. He later retracted the statement.

Evidence experts are now criticizing the undercover operation. "There is no sign of technical evidence here", said evidence expert Peter van Koppen, according to the AD. "All the wrong interrogation tricks were used." Ton Derksen, who wrote several books on legal errors, also doesn't have a good word to say. "This confession is not reliable."

The trial for this case starts on Thursday.

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