Notorious murder case will not re-opened

The high court decided on Tuesday afternoon that one of the Netherlands most notorious murder cases in recent years will not be reopened.

Financial advisor Ernest Louwes was sentenced to 12 years in jail in 2004 for killing the elderly widow Jacqueline Wittenberg in 1999. He has always protested his innocence.
Media reports say the high court could find no reason to reopen the case, despite further research into witnesses not heard at the original trial.
Louwes, who is backed in his campaign by opinion pollster Maurice de Hond, won a previous battle in November 2006 to have the widow’s grave opened to look for a knife which he claimed had been hidden there. No knife was discovered.
Louwes was originally cleared of the 1999 killing through lack of evidence, but was retried on appeal and sentenced on the basis of trace evidence and mobile phone records. He is due to be released in April 2009 after serving two-thirds of his sentence.
‘Two people know that the High Court ruling is completely wrong,’ Louwes was reported as saying by ANP. ‘That is the murderer and myself.’

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