Polish driver that killed toddler, grandparents in crash released early; MPs angered
A Polish driver convicted of killing a toddler and her grandparents in a hit-and-run accident in Meije, Limburg four years ago, was given early release so he could return to Poland to be there when his girlfriend gives birth. PVV, SP, CDA and VVD parliamentarians are outraged by the man's release. They call for the system for early release to be changed, NOS reports.
The Polish man hit the 2-year-old girl and her grandparents with his car in May 2013 and then sped away from the scene. All three died in the accident. He was not under the influence of alcohol, but was speeding. The man was initially tried and sentenced to 120 hours of community service. On appeal he was sentenced to 15 months in prison. The Polish man was arrested in the United Kingdom in August last year, and extradited to the Netherlands to serve his sentence.
While serving his sentence, the man filed a request for a break in his punishment so that he could go home for the birth of his child. State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff of Security and Justice advised against releasing the man. But the board of appeals for the Council of Criminal Justice decided to give the man early release as he complied with all the conditions thereof - for example, he already served more than half of his sentence.
The council also ruled that the man was doubly punished due to the commotion in the media ans society. According to the council, the commotion and social unrest can't be blamed on the Polish man - it mainly arose because the Polish man was first given community service and one of the victims' relatives threw a chair at the judge.
A number of parliamentarians are outraged by this decision. VVD MP Foort van Oosten can understand the relatives disbelief, he said to NOS. According to him, Dijkhoff "rightly tried to prevent early release" and this shows "that the system is not functioning properly and has to be changed".
"This can not be explained", CDA parliamentarian Madeleine van Toorenburg said. SP MP Michiel van Nispen called for the rules to be reconsidered for the future. The PVV called the matter a "big scandal" and MP Gidi Markuszower called for the Council to be "fired". "Now perpetrators are being over protected and victims are abandoned."