Arnhem murder case reopened; 9 men maybe wrongfully convicted
A new investigation was launched into the murder of a 63-year-old woman in Arnhem in 1998. The nine men convicted and sentenced to prison for her murder, may have been convicted based on false statements, the advisory committee for closed criminal cases ACAS announced on Tuesday, ANP reports.
The nine men were sentenced to between five and 12 years in prison. ACAS called their convictions "potentially unsafe" in advice given to the supreme court.
According to the committee, the statements made by two co-defendants, "on which the evidence is largely supported", may be unreliable. There is evidence that suggests the two co-defendants may have been pressured by police officers. Their statements may also include information fed by the police on "relevant parts" - information that only a perpetrator could have, according to ACAS
The advisory committee came to these conclusions after examining the interrogations. In the reports of these interrogations, the feeding of information was routinely omitted. The reports were written as if all knowledge came from the suspects themselves, ACAS said. The reports also do not mention the pressure exerted on the suspects.
Eight of the nine men convicted have always denied their involvement in this murder.
The victim was robbed in her villa in 1998, while a 33-year-old friend was visiting her. The robbers forced the two women to lie in a bed, where the victims were shot in the head. The 63-year-old woman died. Her friend survived, the bullet only grazed her. The robbers took off with a few bank cards and a wallet.
The Advocate General at the Supreme Court now ordered a new investigation into the DNA traces and fingerprints found at the crime scene.