Prosecutor harassed in Mallorca fatal beating case
A Dutch public prosecutor is being harassed on social media, accused of a conflict of interest in the case surrounding Carlo Heuvelman, who was beaten to death in Mallorca earlier this month. On social media, the impression was created that the prosecutor was one of the suspect's mother, which is absolutely not the case, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) said to De Gelderlander. The OM is investigating whether those who shared this misinformation can be prosecuted for defamation and slander.
During the early hours of July 14, a group of 13 Dutch tourists attacked another group of five Dutch tourists in an entertainment area of Palma on Mallorca. The smaller group all sustained injuries. 27-year-old Carlo Heuvelman from Waddinxveen later died from a brain injury sustained in the attack. According to Spanish media, the local police identified eight suspects, between the ages of 18 and 20 and from Hilversum and Bussum.
Earlier this week, the Spanish authorities asked the Netherlands to continue this investigation. Shortly afterwards, misinformation about the public prosecutor started circulating on social media. A photo of the prosecutor was posted, and tweets creating the suggestion that she is one of the mother's suspects, and that she used her wealth to bring the case to the Netherlands because of this alleged family tie.
The OM rarely steps up to deny rumors spread on social media. "But this was so on the person. So harmful and such sheer nonsense that we had to do something," a spokesperson for OM Midden Nederland said to De Gelderlander. "If there is one thing we pay close attention to in these kinds of criminal cases, it is to prevent conflicts of interest. If there is even a small link between those involved and employees of the OM, the case automatically goes to another office. That is how it works in the Netherlands."
In a statement, the OM said that it is absolutely not true that "rich parents" asked the OM to take the case from the Spanish authorities. The OM also said that no public prosecutor is the mother of any of the suspects in this case.
A spokesperson for the OM said that the Dutch authorities received the file on this case on Tuesday and cannot yet make any statements. "We are still translating all the documents," the OM spokesperson said. "Only then can we come to suspicions." The OM expects this will take about two weeks.