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#1580: from the Dutch press ... (fwd)
From: Linda Polman <LindaPolman@compuserve.com>
A ("phrase"-less!) piece of news from the Dutch daily newspaper de
Volkskrant, Dec. 24, 1999:
"Company not prosecuted for poison scandal Haiti.
Vos BV Company in Alphen aan de Rijn will no longer be prosecuted for
'death by guilt' and manslaughter of 60 children in Haiti. The children
died in 1995 after drinking a cough mixture which contained poisoned
glycerine that was sold by Vos.
Public Prosecutor S. Horstink in The Hague says he can't round off the
evidence against Vos, partly due to the lack of cooperation from the
Haitian Justice Department. The Haitians have not responded to Horstink's
repeated requests to support his evidence with post-mortem reports, along
with other documents. Without those reports the connection between Vos'
deeds and the death of the children can't be proven, according to Horstink.
There are other charges against Vos that are still being investigated, but
those are lesser, such as suspection of having infringed the Dangerous
Substances law. Herein the Public Prosecutor accuses Vos of having sold
glycerine knowing it was contaminated.
Vos, a subsidiary company of the German company Helm AG, bought the
glycerine in China. It was worked up in a cough mixture by the Haitian
company Pharval, which has since been closed down by the Haitian
Horstink has no idea why the Haitian Justice Department didn't cooperate
with the Dutch investigators. The Haitians never started their own
investigation in this case either.
There are still some financial claims from parents of the deceased children
against Helm and Vos. They are represented in Holland by attorney J. van
der Wolf. He said to be greatly disappointed with the decision of the
Public Prosecutor to drop the charges 'death by guilt' and manslaughter.
"This development is bad for us. Establishing the connection between the
glycerine and the death of the children is of great importance to us," Wolf