Three Irish Men Convicted for Disposing of a Body

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Amsterdam, 15 mei 2017

Two Irish men both get the maximum prison sentence of two years for disposing of a dead body.
A third man gets the same prison sentence, but receives a sentence reduction of two months since he was arrested before the other two men and has been waiting too long (four years) for a decision of the Court. Since there is not enough evidence for a conviction for manslaughter, the suspects are acquitted for this point of the indictment.

Not enough evidence for manslaughter

On February 24th, 2009, the body of the victim, also an Irishman, was found in the River IJ after it had been cut and sawn to pieces. The victim was supposedly stabbed to death in the Rotterdam residence of one of the suspects after an argument. The principal resident points to the other two suspects as the perpetrators. Since the Court deems this statement insufficiently reliable and there is not enough decisive forensic evidence, the Court cannot determine which of the men is responsible for the death of the victim.

The Court considers this outcome very unsatisfying. Very unsatisfying in general, but especially for the relatives of the victim, as they now do not know who killed him. In spite of this, an acquittal is necessary, as there is a real possibility that the suspects, despite all that pleads against them, could be innocent. In the end, the evidence that someone has committed a criminal offence must be beyond all reasonable doubt

Maximum sentence imposed

The Court does consider it proven that the three men have disposed of the body of the killed man together. They used a chainsaw to cut the body of the man in three pieces, put it in a suitcase and two garbage bags, transported it to Amsterdam and dumped the body in the IJmeer, a lake near the city. The Court imposes the maximum sentence for this offence. The horrific and disrespectful way in which the men have handled the dead body has been extremely shocking for the relatives of the man as well as for everyone who came to hear of these facts. The inviolability of the body, also that of a deceased person, is an important legal right.

More information

If you have any questions, please contact the Information & Communication Department of the Amsterdam District Court by phone: +31 (0)88 – 361 14 40, or send an email