Netherlands: ‘Groningen three’ sued for €1 million

February 4, 2009

Somehow, I missed the November verdict of the trial of the three men from the northern Dutch city of Groningen who were on trial for drugging, raping and deliberately injecting HIV-tainted blood into 12 men at private sex parties.

According to Radio Netherlands:

One of the accused was jailed for nine years, another to five years, while the third man was sentenced to a year-and-a-half term and will be released immediately since he has already spent a longer period in jail awaiting trial.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office – which had asked for terms of 15 years against the main two suspects and one of eight for the third man – announced it would appeal against the court’s ruling.

Notably, the court ruled that there was no proof that the men had actually infected their victims with HIV, because it was impossible to prove that the men were not already infected prior to attending the sex parties. Consequently, as far as the deliberate HIV infection charges went they could only be found guilty of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm. However, the court did find them guilty of rape and injecting the 12 men with HIV-infected blood.

But the story doesn’t end there. Now, the 12 complainants and a further two men who allege they were also infected at the sex parties have begun civil proceedings against the three men, according to another article on the Radio Netherlands website.

In a remarkable twist of Dutch law, in the civil case, the accused men must prove that the 14 complainants did not become infected as a result of the injections. It is thought that this case will take months, if not years, and will require detailed and incredibly costly scientific evidence.

The men are hoping for €1 million in damages. The assets of the three men have already been frozen.