The public prosecution department has called for a four-year prison sentence for a man suspected of helping people to take their own lives by selling a lethal powder online.
Alex S allegedly sold the “suicide powder” to hundreds of customers over three years. The prosecution say 10 people died after taking the powder.
S, who is a member of Coöperatie Laatste Wil (CLW) which campaigns for the right to die by circumventing strict euthanasia rules, initially bought the powder because he was contemplating suicide himself because of medical problems, he told a court in Den Bosch.
When he discovered it could be easily obtained from the internet he was contacted by other members of the CLW who wanted it, he claimed.
He subsequently made up 1,600 doses of “substance X” comprising four times the lethal amount, put the doses in a box and posted them out for €45 per batch. S did not check who his clients were, the public prosecutor said.
40 hours to die
The unnamed powder is used in the chemical industry. When ingested it can take up to 40 hours to die, experts have said. Selling the powder is not an offence in itself, unless the purpose is to help someone take their own life.
S is also accused of money laundering in connection with the powder sales and breaking the medicines act.
His lawyer has said he should be acquitted because the court has not proved that the people who died after consuming the powder obtained it from him.
The case continues.
Anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts can talk or chat anonymously with the helpline 113.nl or call the free number 0800-0113.
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