AMSTERDAM–The Court on Thursday decided that a new investigation is needed to determine the cause of death of Mitch Henriquez from Aruba who died at the hands of the Dutch police in The Hague in June 2015. The trial against two police officers will take place in November.
Reason for the new investigation is a report of a forensic doctor that the defence of the two accused police officers submitted to the Court last month. This report states that Henriquez most probably didn’t die of the injuries sustained during the controversial neck clamp used by police, as the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) had originally stated, but possibly due to a cardiac arrest as a result of a cardiac rhythm disorder.
That is why the Court wants a new investigation by a third forensic doctor. This will take time because the expert of the NFI will have to go through the entire file. Consequently, the trial against the police officers has been deferred until mid-November.
The Prosecutor’s Office lamented the delay, but agreed with the Court that a new investigation is needed. The family of the deceased was not happy with the delay. Members of the Henriquez family took vacation days to attend the trial in the Netherlands.
The family wants the names of the responsible police officers to be made public, a request that was rejected by the Court. The family is also disappointed and angry about the report with new details on the cause of death. They are under the impression that the defence is doing everything to slow down the Court process and they have little fate in the Court system and getting a fair trial.
Member of the Aruba Parliament Desirée de Sousa-Croes of the ruling AVP party attended Thursday’s so-called pro-forma Court session. De Sousa-Croes is the chairperson of the Justice Committee of the Aruba Parliament and attended the Court session on the committee’s request.
The Justice Committee is concerned about the legal investigation process into the death of Henriquez and the criminal case against the police officers. The Committee feared that the case will take a long time and that this will affect the prosecution of the suspects.
The Committee found it peculiar that the police officers were not arrested after the fatal incident and that they were only placed on non-active [duty – Ed.] The Committee supported the family in their demand to have the names of the officers released. According to the Committee, the non-revealing of the suspects’ names was “not in line with the principles of a democratic state of law.”
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/65021-court-wants-new-probe-into-death-henriquez