The body of a former military intelligence expert, found dead in the bath at his home in Amstelveen last year, has been exhumed because the case is being reopened, the AD reported.
Although police started looking into the the death of Hans van de Ven, who specialized in phone tapping techniques, at the time, the medical examiner concluded he had died of natural causes and the investigation was halted.
Relatives, however, disputed the findings and have been campaigning to have the investigation restarted. The exhumation of the body, at the behest of the public prosecution department, is the first step in that process.
The investigation would appear to focus on two key facts uncovered by the AD and the private investigators brought in by the family.
Firstly, the medical examiner concluded in 2021 after an external inspection that Van de Ven must have died of a ruptured abdominal artery. However, an autopsy requested by Van Hilten’s next of kin at the time, showed that this was not the case.
In addition research has now shown that he may have been dead for several days before his body was found because he had not responded to any efforts to contact him since January 29.
However, police were alerted to his death by the woman who lived with him, Annique Botermans, on February 4. She is currently serving time in jail for fraud.
She had also, according to the AD marked January 29 in her diary as ‘Hans’ black day’.
Now Van de Ven’s body has been exhumed and taken to the Dutch forensic science institute for an autopsy. Sources told the paper that the investigation may also involve taking samples to check for poison.
The AD said it is extremely rare for the public prosecution department in the Netherlands to order a body to be exhumed.
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