Court hears DNA evidence in 1995 murder

It is 2.28 million times more likely that the three identifiable DNA strands found in trace evidence on the body of Nicole van den Hurk belonged to her accused killer, Jos de G., and two other people, as opposed to just three random people, a report by forensic researchers from a New Zealand institution said. The investigation results were presented in court on Tuesday as part of the case against De G.

The New Zealand team was called in to examine the trace evidence dating back to the 1995 murder as additional expert witnesses after two other DNA experts conflicted on the reliability of the evidence. Van den Hurk was last seen leaving her grandmother's house in October 1995, on her way to work. Her body was found in a wooded area between Lierop and Mierlo, Noord-Brabant, several weeks later.

The trial in the 1995 rape and murder case was previously postponed after two witnesses came forward. Both witnesses - both spent time with De G. in a psychiatric institution - claimed that Jos de G. told them that he murdered Van den Hurk. During the break, 15 witnesses were questioned to determine the relationship between De G. and the two surprise witnesses.

De G. claims that one of the witnesses and he got along "like cat and dog" in the psychiatric clinic. But a psychiatrist from the clinic contradicted this, stating that they played poker together in the clinic.

The lawyer for the defendant said he wants to question Telegraaf newspaper journalist Jolande van der Graaf about her interviews with the two witnesses in question. The attorney stated that Van der Graaf's complete interview could potentially exonerate the defendant.

Also on Tuesday, the lawyer for the victim's stepmother, Jolanda, re-submitted a request that the she be given a chance to address the accused in court as a family member. A previous request was denied as she is not a blood relative. The judge said hat the request will be considered.