Ger­man nurse ad­mits to killing 100 pa­tients

Hoegel is ac­cused of in­ten­tion­ally ad­min­is­ter­ing med­i­cal over­doses to vic­tims

The Gulf Today - - WORLD -

OLDEN­BURG: For­mer Nurse Niels Hoegel ad­mit­ted on Tues­day to killing 100 pa­tients In HIS CARE, on THE irst DAY of his trial in the big­gest se­rial killing case in Ger­many’s post-war his­tory.

Hoegel, 41, has al­ready spent nearly a decade in prison on a life term for other pa­tient deaths, and is ac­cused of in­ten­tion­ally ad­min­is­ter­ing med­i­cal over­doses to vic­tims so he could bring them back to life at the last mo­ment.

As the pro­ceed­ings opened in the north­ernci­ty­ofold­en­burg,pre­sid­ing­judge Se­bas­tian Buehrmann asked whether the charges against him were ac­cu­rate. Hoegel replied qui­etly “yes.”

“What I have ad­mit­ted took place,” he told the court­room crowded with dozens of griev­ing rel­a­tives.

Buehrmann said the main aim of the trial was to es­tab­lish the full scope of the mur­der spree that was al­lowed to go unchecked for years at two Ger­man hos­pi­tals.

“It is like a house with dark rooms — we want to bring light into the dark­ness,” he said.

After a minute of si­lence in the court­room for the vic­tims, the bearded, heavy­set Hoegel lis­tened im­pas­sively, his head low­ered, as pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor Daniela Schiereck-bohlmann read out the name of each dead pa­tient and the charges against the de­fen­dant.

Pros­e­cu­tors say at least 36 pa­tients were killed at a hos­pi­tal in Olden­burg where he worked, and about 64 more at a clinic in nearby Del­men­horst, be­tween 2000 and 2005.

More than 130 bod­ies of pa­tients who died on Hoegel’s watch have been ex­humed, in a case in­ves­ti­ga­tors have called “un­prece­dented in Ger­many to our knowl­edge.”

One of the more than 100 co-plain­tiffs in the trial, Chris­tian Mar­bach, said it was a scan­dal that Hoegel had been al­lowed to kill with im­punity for such an ex­tended pe­riod of time with­out hos­pi­tal au­thor­i­ties or law en­force­ment in­ter­ven­ing.

“They had ev­ery­thing they needed (to stop him) — you don’t have to be Sher­lock Holmes,” Mar­bach, the grand­son of one of the pa­tients, told AFP.

Hoegel­toldthe­cour­the­was“sur­prised” when a su­pe­rior at the Olden­burg hos­pi­tal asked him to re­sign in late 2002, say­ing he would get a pos­i­tive rec­om­men­da­tion and hol­i­day pay if he left vol­un­tar­ily.

“I felt bad, like I had been caught,” Hoegel said, adding how­ever that he was never ex­plic­itly told why they wanted him gone. Mar­bach said the de­fen­dant seemed re­mark­ably com­posed as he ad­mit­ted to the ex­tra­or­di­nary list of killings.

“He looks like a lit­tle, vul­ner­a­ble mass mur­derer.”

Reuters

Niels Hoegel cov­ers his face as he ar­rives for the start of his trial in a court­room in Olden­burg on Tues­day.

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