THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A man accused of killing a former Dutch health minister admitted the slaying at a court hearing Thursday, claiming it was an “order from God” because she was responsible for the Netherlands’ euthanasia law.
The suspect, identified only as Bart van U. because of privacy rules, made the confession during a closed hearing, Rotterdam Court spokesman Pelle Biesmeijer said in a telephone interview.
Former health minister Els Borst, who drafted the nation’s landmark 2002 law legalizing euthanasia, was stabbed to death at her home two years ago.
News of the motive behind her death sent shockwaves through Borst’s former political party, D66.
“My worst fears have been realized,” said current party leader Alexander Pechtold. “The suspect’s motive is shocking and confrontational. Els was killed because of her socially and politically groundbreaking work on euthanasia.”
Prosecution spokeswoman Jeichien de Graaff said Van U.'s statement in court would be taken into account in a psychiatric assessment that aims to help judges decide if he can be held criminally responsible for his actions.
Van U. was arrested last year on suspicion of stabbing his sister to death, De Graaff said. Prosecutors say that during the investigation into that slaying, he gave DNA samples that were found to match traces of DNA found at the scene of Borst’s slaying.
Van U. is charged with murder or, alternatively, manslaughter in both slayings.
This is pretty big news here in Netherlands currently. I expected it to be here already but it wasn’t.
The coverage of this case in English is pretty bad, so I’ll provide more information.
He’s from the hardliner Reformed community. Before he killed the minister, he had met her before. He wanted to have the adresses of two former prime ministers.
He is passionately against euthanasia and abortion.
His sister is pro-choice and pro-euthanasia and they had many disputes. She wanted to get him into a psychriatic hospital, or as the suspect says wanted him to commit suicide, which is also why she wound up dead.