Logo 152x60

Press Release II

Press Release I
Press Release II
Full Grimbergen Report

The press release from the Procurator-general of the Supreme Court (of the Netherlands) Does not make pleasant reading. It is more scathing than I would have thought possible.

I shall highlight, in red, here below one or two “Vipers”.

Press release from the Procurator-General of the Supreme Court (of the Netherlands) in the case of Lucia de B.
On 26th October 2007 the Procurator-General of the Supreme Court (of the Netherlands) received a request from the Board of PG concerning the case of Lucia de B. The board requested that it be integrally assessed whether, on the basis of the report from the CEAS, there is cause for a submission of a judicial review. An Advocate General at the Supreme Court (of the Netherlands) has considered the request and his conclusion is that the CEAS report’s findings alone do not give sufficient grounds for a request for judicial review at the Supreme Court (of the Netherlands). It will be necessary for further investigation to be carried out. Depending on the results of that investigation it will be decided whether or not a request for judicial review will be submitted.

Digoxin poisoning
It has been established In the CEAS’s report concerning Mrs.de B. that a difference of opinion exists between at least two experts

There is an inaccuracy hidden here.
De Wolff is the Dutch pharmacologist – not an expert in the area of Digoxin – who initially recognised the specific method (HPLC) (fine mesh) as the most valid. During the trial however the average concentration (23.5) was taken from the two immuno-methods (the large mesh). The result of the HPLC was 7 and took no further part. The toxic dose lay, according to de Wolff, at >15. When the test results from Strasbourg also showed a level of 7 this must have caused a problem. In any case the report remained lying in a drawer for two years. But even based only on these results (the most refined HPLC method) the expert de Wolff must conclude that the concentration of 7 (minus a deduction of 6 to 7 for evaporation and distribution) was much lower than the toxic level. There were therefore also inter-personal contradictions.

This, in my opinion, shows above all a lack of respect for renown scientists the world over to consider “our” expert as their equal opponent.

or – from a scientific point of view – can be determined that a patient, that was being treated on the ward where Mrs.de B. worked, died of Digoxin poisoning.

Differing perspectives among experts can, under certain circumstances, give cause for the review of a trial and order a new investigation of the facts. This is rather hopeful.

Initially the conclusions regarding the Digoxin poisoning of the patient were unanimous.
This is also not true. Professor Uges – internationally better known that de Wolff – has repeatedly pointed to the fact that the test was invalid with the wadding etc. and that one should never have drawn the conclusion that a Digoxin poisoning had occurred Certainly when the clinical data is taken into consideration.

Both the court and the Public Prosecutors’ office, as well as the defence were of the opinion that this was the case. The CEAS, as part of its investigation, consulted an expert. The expert informed the CEAS that in his opinion Digoxin poisoning cannot be determined.

It was stated much stronger; according to Koren and Dagupta it was absolutely untrue and ‘quite shocking’ that a conviction in the Netherlands was based on this. (CEAS)

The expert – In the CEAS report they mean Wolff here – did not have access to all the items. It is possible that due to this fact various aspects were not covered. The CEAS has moreover emphatically stated in its report that they make no judgement as to the question of which is the most correct point of view in scientific terms. See above – the differences of levels.

Further investigation must therefore be carried out that is charged with achieving clarity over the question of whether or not Digoxin poisoning took place. That is necessary – hasn’t there already been 16 months of “very careful” investigation? – to answer the question of whether a request for a judicial review of the case of Mrs de B. should be submitted.
The investigation will take place with the utmost scrupulousness - what is the basis for this? - and drive – under what time limit??? It will consist, amongst other things, of an integral, multi-disciplinary reappraisal – on the basis of all toxicological, pathological and clinical findings contained in the dossier – the whole dossier or, once again, the extracts the way the JKZ drew them up? - - whether, at the time of death of the patient concerned, there was evidence of toxic levels of Digoxin in the blood.

Will they then examine what, medically speaking, was the most likely cause of death bearing in mind the serious complex condition?

Furthermore questions will be presented to at least three prominent (international) experts in the area of forensic toxicology concerning the methods of measurement by which the Digoxin was indicated, whereby the fact that therapeutic administering of Digoxin was discontinued approximately five days before death, shall be included.

Mortality figures
Furthermore the CEAS has, in its report to the Board of Procurators General, given consideration to whether there is cause for further investigation into the mortality rates in the departments of the hospital, before Mrs de B. was employed there. On this point there will be, at least, an exploratory investigation. The investigation into mortality rates will only be able to be of limited nature due to the restrictions that arise from the medical confidentiality and privacy of those concerned. In the pursuit of “justice” there shouldn’t be any restrictions here, or they will be in a position to set up another smoke screen.

The investigation will not therefore be aimed at the individual cases of death.
With this there is a risk of building-in subjectivity once again. How are the checks against this happening to be safeguarded?

the investigations shall be completed as quickly as possible, – this is a term that no longer has any meaning – but will probably take a number of months to complete. The Board of Procurers General will, at the request of the Procurer General of the Supreme Court, lend assistance in the implementation of the investigations. The investigations will take place under the immediate direction of the Advocate General of the Supreme Court. For the benefit of the investigation the Board of Procurators General will appoint a public prosecutor. This public prosecutor will also be able to involve other investigating agencies. – will there also be medical practitioners involved in this investigation, who can ensure objectively that no crucial medical evidence etc. is missed out etc. The CEAS pointed out four occasions of the coaching role of the doctor/tutor in the JKZ. This coordinating role may not, in the interests of objectivity, be filled by anyone involved. The national Forensic Institute should have generalists in its employ for this support. Experts are often specialists who only carry out research in certain aspects. – The investigations to be carried out by the public prosecutor and the other investigating agencies will be under the supervision of the Advocate General of the Supreme Court. As soon as the investigations are completed it will be decided whether or not there are grounds for a request for judicial review. There will be an announcement of this decision.

Below are Meta’s conclusions (not sure if they should be included here, I may remove them, but interesting reading all the same);

Firstly I feel that the course of events is a disqualification for the commissions Grimbergen and Buruma. What have they been doing with so many resources for the last year and a half?? What does independent investigation mean any more?

I see it in particular as a show of his contempt for humanity and I have, euphemistically speaking, much difficulty with the fact that we in the Netherlands are dependent on a legal system that has no human face. Lucia enters her seventh year in prison and just has to wait for a game between powers. Given up long since on a substantive conclusion.

Conspicuous too is that we keep on talking to jurists and journalists who fall back on “intuition” and still wish to hold on to “she must have done it”. After all in the court room Lucia was so theatrical, she seemed to enjoy the struggle with the judge, wore such strange clothes. Again, this doesn’t come from “Joe-on-the-street”, but from important journalists and learned legal scholars. It shows how little they really know about the case. Psychologist Ligthart let his vision be known to many, in court also as well as in the stands, about Lucia’s behaviour and things like that come across as being professional knowledge. People attached belief to all the tales that were circulating. No, Lucia does not have a cross on her chest, didn’t start any fires, never posted her own obituary etc. but THAT’s never come out in the media. Lucia believed completely that she would be acquitted, as did her lawyers. The judges never believed her. What would you do if you were stood there? Burst into tears – and with that be completely powerless – or try to convince with all the resources that you have. In your own clothes, your own hairstyle......she wore “quite simply” light blue and pink clothes.

It is, in my eyes, further ridiculous that one dares to speak of differences in scientific insight. Grave mistakes were made. If there is to be a scientific discussion about Digoxin then let it be to a high level. In the land of the blind it is easy to come across as expert and convince people, but it would be preferable to respect the international scientists on the subject of Digoxin. It’s only “quite shocking” when Dutch jurists believe they know about non-jurist subjects better than renown scientists and Nobel prize winners.

The paediatrician who was responsible for the witch-hunt against Sally Clark has, happily, been refuted (it didn’t help in the end).

The Supreme Court wants to do its work quietly....... Without knowledge of fact in this specific area, but with the complete freedom to choose the final oracle.

I hope that you can draw attention to this almost “Putinesque” twist in the process.

Best wishes,

Disclaimer: these pages are a partial translation of web pages at http://www.luciadeb.nl
The translation is "a work in progress", and www.luciadeb.nl is a moving target. Suggestions for corrections and improvements are welcome.

Copyright: original Dutch texts: Metta de Noo.
English translation: Marty Hirst, Carole Edrich, Corine Judkins, Michaela Wouters