Children hidden on farm for years to file civil suit against father
The four oldest children of Gerrit Jan van D will file a civil lawsuit against their father accused of holding six of his children against their will on a farm in Ruinerwold for years, their lawyer Corinne Jeekel said in the TV show Op1. The court dropped the case last month because of the 68-year-old’s poor health.
The children of the man were hopeful that the civil court will still establish Van D. acted unlawfully even if the criminal proceeding was halted. "The justice, the recognition. That's what they wanted from the start," Jeekel said.
The father suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage a few years ago that left him with severe brain damage. Experts previously concluded that he did not seem to be able to understand the legal process, and was barely able to communicate.
The attorney for the children disagreed. "As far as I know, he is not under guardianship. Strictly speaking, he is legally competent and a lawsuit can be filed then," Jeekel said on the talk show.
D. is suspected of holding six of his children against their will for years on a farm on the outskirts of the Drenthe village of Ruinerwold. He was also accused of sexually abusing two of his kids.
The five youngest children of Gerrit Jan van D. issued a statement last month in which they said they did not regret their secluded life and were not the victims of their father.