Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Holland Calls Aruba "Insane"

Tuesday april 4 2006 - DEN HAAG – Dutch legal scholars are strongly critial of the Aruban police investigation into the disappearance of the missing american teenager Natalee Holloway. They are describing the methods used by the investigative team "strange and unprofessional". They are also critical of the actions of acting chief of police Gerold Dompig.

"It is unfathomable that the police didn't start looking for Natalee's body immediatly after having received an important tip-off", according to Menno Dolmam, Dolman teaches criminal law at the University of Amsterdam. The place in the dunes where they searched last week was left totally undisturbed for weeks, which could have meant the loss of vital clues.


It took a months after the anonymous source called Dompig in tears with information about the spot where Natalee supposedly was buried, before Aruban authorities came into action. "That is highly curious", according to Maastricht legal psychologist Peter van Koppen. Usually such an area is cordoned off immediately. "To dig and take samples." But not on Aruba.

Even before one shovel went into the ground, Dompig spoke at lenght with the media about this new clue and the searches that were in the planning. A really "insane" action, according to professor of Law (at Leiden University) Hans Nijboer. "It is a huge mistake to do something like that". One has to be deprived of all good senses to publicly proclaim concrete clues before the search has even started. "Experienced detectives investigate first." The media are a place of last resort for a detective, according to Dolman. "You don't want to give away information that only the true culprit could possibly know. If that happens it will be extremely hard to prove wether or not a suspect actually knew this or has just read about this in the newspaper, making it nigh impossible to verify the authenticity of the statements made by the suspect.


Gerold Dompig doesn't seem to care about that. He generously throws around details in the case. But the facts and theories he talks about are sometimes even contradictory. For example, in the US media he has proclaimed that Natalee's death most likely was due to an overdose of drugs and alcohol she took that night. Against this newspaper he told a diferent theory. According to him Natalee most likely died of a criminal act (rape and murder).

These 2 versions are contradictory, according to Dolman. He suspects the chief of police to give several versions of the events to keep newsmedia at bay. "Maybe it is an investigative tactic", theorizes Van Koppen, "he might be listining in on the phones of all suspects and others in this case." As soon as one of the suspects reveals the truth on the phone, he can arrest that one.

Dolman doesn't believe Dompig is that good a tactician. "You cannot speak of any tactics if a detective starts telling eveyone he knows where the body is hidden." That would be more of a last resource in a stalled investigation.

Source: BN de Stem