Monday, 21 January, 2019

German nurse on trial over 100 patient deaths

Niels H?gel Niels Hoegel has admitted killing 100 patients in his care
Melissa Porter | 01 November, 2018, 17:59

A former nurse in Germany on Tuesday admitted murdering 100 patients in his care, on the first day of his trial in the town of Oldenburg.

He added: "What I have admitted took place".

Hoegel is accused of killing the patients at a hospital in the northwestern city of Oldenburg between 1999 and 2002, and at another hospital in nearby Delmenhorst from 2003 to 2005.

During the trial, he said he intentionally brought about cardiac crisis in some 90 patients in Delmenhorst because he enjoyed the feeling of being able to resuscitate them.

The German nurse has already spent almost a decade in prison for other patient deaths.

Around 126 relatives will be co-plaintiffs in the new trial and are expected to fill the specially designated courtroom in Oldenburg, along with about 80 journalists.

He promised Hoegel a fair trial. German laws also does not allow for consecutive prison terms, so Hoegel could theoretically walk free within little more than a decade, unless he is barred from an early release at the end of the trial that is now underway. "We will make every effort to seek the truth". Prisoners serving life sentences are usually considered for parole after 15 years.

"We have fought for four years for this trial and expect Hoegel to be convicted of another 100 killings", said Christian Marbach, a representative of the patients' relatives. "It is like a house with dark rooms - we want to bring light into the darkness".

"The prosecutor's office assumes that he did this in order to create a life-threatening situation in order to demonstrate his resuscitation skills to colleagues and superiors", the indictment states, according to DW.

Between 2000 and 2005, he allegedly injected an overdose of medication in dozens of ailing, often aged patients with the aim of rescuing them from the brink of death.

He said: "If the people responsible at the time, particularly at the Oldenburg clinic but also later in Delmenhorst, hadn't hesitated to alert authorities - for example police, prosecutors".

Investigators believe the killer could have murdered even more people, but potential victims have been cremated.