Judge made no mistakes with Anne Faber murder suspect, court president says

Judge Rinus Otte made no mistakes in the 2012 trial against Michael P., the man now suspected of murdering Anne Faber, Fred van der Winkel, president of the Arnhem-Leeuwarden court said to the Volkskrant on Wednesday.

Van der Winkel was responding to criticism expressed by Anne's father Wim Faber in an open letter earlier this week. Faber called for Otte, now working for the Public Prosecutor, to step down. According to Faber, Otte is partially responsible for his daughter's death because he did not give P. institutionalized psychiatric treatment when sentencing him for raping two underage girls. 

But according to Van der Winkel, it was impossible to impose institutionalized psychiatric treatment on P. at that time. For this measure a psychological disorder must be diagnosed, and P. refused to cooperate in an examination by the Pieter Baan Center. He added that te court gave P. a "relatively high penalty" for the rape of the two girls. 

Anne Faber went missing while out cycling in September last year. She was found raped and murdered nearly two weeks after she disappeared. Her body was found in Zeewolde based on information from Michael P., who later confessed to raping and killing her. At the time P. was living in a psychiatric institute in Den Dolder, being prepared for his return to society after serving nearly two thirds of the prison sentence he received for raping two underage girls. 

If P. had been sentenced to institutionalized psychiatric treatment, he wouldn't have been in the institution in Den Dolder, where he was allowed a degree of freedom, when Anne was murdered, according to Wim Faber. Faber believes that his daughter died because of "failure of the judicial process". Faber also accused Otte of letting his bias against institutionalized psychiatric treatment influence the sentence imposed on P. - Otte previously made negative statements about the measure. 

"Of course judges also have opinions", Van der Winkel said to the Volkskrant in response to that accusation. "But a publication in an academic debate does not at all mean that the judge is then biased in cases. In addition, the colleagues in a multiple criminal chamber will supervise this."

Judges are not allowed to give any further explanations about rulings they made. But Van der Winkel decided to respond to Faber's criticism, because "the accusations exceed the rulings of the individual criminal case from 2012".