Amsterdam daycare abuse trial starts
Sunday 11 March 2012
The trial of Robert Mikelsons, accused of abusing and filming dozens of children at daycare centres and private homes in Amsterdam, starts on Monday, over a year after the scandal broke.
Mikelsons, 28, will face criminal charges in 67 cases, the public prosecution department said in pre-trial hearings at the end of last year. Mikelsons' partner Richard van Olffen will also face charges in connection with the case.
Mikelsons has admitted abusing 87 children but 20 cases will not be prosecuted. This is partly because some parents are reluctant to get involved.
The trial will be closed to cameras and the young victims referred to by number. A large part of the proceedings will also be closed to the press and public. Parents can follow the proceedings in another room to protect their privacy, Nos television said.
The parents of children allegedly abused by the Latvian national have been given the right to address the court - a decision which the defence lawyers are set to challenge. They argue that only victims are allowed to speak about the offences.
Mikelsons faces up to 20 years in jail plus detention in a psychiatric hospital.