The results of a year-long undercover operation to win a confession from a murder victim’s partner are untrustworthy and worthless, experts say in Wednesday’s Brabants Dagblad.
Procedural hearings in the trial of 40-year-old Wim S, accused of murdering his partner Heidy Goedhart in 2010, take place on Thursday. However, experts told the paper the confession, which S immediately retracted after his arrest, was obtained after he had been put under financial pressure by police and is unreliable.
In 2011, S spent three months in custody accused of strangling Goedhart in the garden of her home in Kaatsheuvel but was released because of a lack of evidence. Police then mounted a year-long campaign involving 16 officers in an effort to win a confession.
The tactics included crashing into S’s car so the undercover officer could strike up a friendship with him, police files in the hands of the newspaper show. S, who was known to have financial worries, was given work by a police-friendly security company.
He eventually confessed to the murder while working for the firm in Marbella after being threatened with losing his job.
Psychologist and evidence expert Peter van Koppen told the paper the undercover operation has produced nothing of value and involved ‘all the wrong methods of interrogation’. ‘It is a scandal that S was put under so much pressure he could do nothing else than confess,’ he said.
Miscarriage of justice specialist Ton Derksen also told the paper ‘the confession is unreliable’.
S’s lawyer Arthur van der Biezen says the way his client was made ‘financially dependent’ conflicts with a fair trial.
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