Suspect denies strangling transgender sex worker in 2003 Amsterdam cold case
Murat K., suspected of strangling a transgender sex worker in June 2003 in a red-light district in Amsterdam, denied committing any crime in court on Tuesday. K. was arrested in July after DNA kinship research pointed in his direction.
The 42-year-old K. appeared for the first public preliminary hearing regarding his case at the Amsterdam court on Tuesday. He stated that he had never had sexual relations with any sex worker and that he did not murder the victim. If he had engaged in intercourse with her, as the evidence seems to suggest, "he doesn't remember it, twenty years later," according to his lawyer. "Someone else must have done this. This case could go in any direction."
However, according to the Public Prosecution Service, K. has a lot to answer for. The court determined that there are currently sufficient reasons to keep him in provisional detention.
The victim in the case was 34-year-old Jody, a transgender woman from Ecuador who was residing illegally in the Netherlands. Her body was found on June 23, 2003, in the bushes of the Sportpark Spieringhorn on Seineweg in Amsterdam Nieuw-West. She had multiple stab wounds and died from strangulation.
Evidence in the case is almost entirely based on DNA findings. Several traces point towards K., including DNA on a knife found at the crime scene, which also had the victim's blood on it.
His lawyer pointed out that numerous traces found on and around the victim were not linked to K., but were connected to other men. Three of them had been considered suspects during the investigation, including one of Jody's clients. The lawyer requested the full investigation file on these individuals, believing it could potentially contain information that could exonerate K. The court granted this request and instructed the Public Prosecution Service to provide the file to the lawyer.
The next preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for December 13.
Reporting by ANP