Trial begins Monday in criminal case against suicide drug supplier
Those in the Netherlands in life threatening danger should immediately dial 112 for emergencies, and anyone suffering from depression or contemplating suicide can call 113 Zelfmoordpreventie at any time by dialing either 113 or 0800-0113, or by visiting 113.nl.
Alex S. will stand trial on Monday for supplying the lethal drug known as "Drug X" to those who placed orders with him for it. The drug, sometimes distributed as a powder, made it possible for his clients to commit suicide. The Public Prosecution Service (OM) said at least ten of these people actually took their own lives, meaning S. has violated laws against assisted suicide.
The actual number of people who died after using the drug supplied by S. may be higher, prosecutors alleged. However, he will only be prosecuted in those cases where the evidence is strongest.
The suspect is a member of Coöperatie Laatste Wil (CLW), an organization that advocates eliminating most restrictions regarding self-determination of one's death. S. is not a doctor, and is not an expert in medications. According to CLW, he has supplied Drug X to 2,200 members of that club, and possibly a total of about 10,000 people.
The OM is also prosecuting S. for money laundering and the distribution of medications without a license. S. also allegedly supplied an antiemetic with the suicide drug, to prevent people from vomiting after taking Drug X.
The District Court in Den Bosch has set aside Monday and Tuesday for the substantive hearings of the criminal case. The prosecutor will also say whether or not they recommend a conviction, incarceration, community service, or other sentencing conditions. The suspect potentially faces years of prison time.
Those who support S. have announced that they will hold a demonstration prior to the trial. The demonstration will be organized by Steungroep Dappere Burgers.
Reporting by ANP