The public prosecution department has called on judges in Arnhem to find nurse Lucia de Berk not guilty of killing seven patients and attempting to kill three others.
De Berk, released from jail in 2008 after growing doubts about her guilt, is officially the Netherlands’ worst ever serial killer.
She was jailed in 2004 for life and has spent six years in prison. The retrial was ordered by the high court in 2008.
The case against her was largely based on statistical evidence and claims that a baby had been poisoned.
That supposed murder, now disputed by toxicologists, led prosecutors to state that other patients had also been killed.
These patients were either very old or very sick and died as a result of ‘medically unexplained’ causes. And, the prosecution said at the time, De Berk was on duty ‘noticeably often’ when someone died.
Statisticians later joined the campaign to have De Berk freed, saying the use of statistical evidence was highly flawed.
One crucial piece of evidence against De Berk was a diary entry in which she wrote of ‘giving in’ to her compulsion. De Berk always maintained this was her love of tarot cards.
The court will give its verdict on April 14. If found not guilty as expected, her conviction will go down as one of the most serious miscarriages of justice in Dutch legal history, the NRC said.
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