A former nurse has admitted to killing 100 patients in his care, on the first day of his trial in the biggest serial killing case in Germany’s post-war history.
Niels Hoegel, 41, has already spent nearly a decade in prison on a life term for other patient deaths. He is accused of intentionally administering medical overdoses to victims so he could bring them back to life at the last moment.
As the proceedings opened in the northern city of Oldenburg, the presiding judge, Sebastian Buehrmann, asked whether the charges against him were accurate. Hoegel replied “yes”.
“What I have admitted took place,” he told the courtroom crowded with dozens of grieving relatives.
As the proceedings began Buehrmann said the main aim of the trial was to establish the full scope of the murder spree that was allowed to go unchecked for years at two German hospitals.
“We will do our utmost to learn the truth,” he said. “It is like a house with dark rooms – we want to bring light into the darkness.”
"They had everything they needed [to stop him] - you don't have to be Sherlock Holmes," Marbach, the grandson of one of the patients, told AFP news agency.
He later expressed surprise about Hoegel's quick confession. "I didn't expect it to happen today," he said.
After a minute of silence for the victims, the bearded, heavyset Hoegel listened impassively, his head lowered, as public prosecutor Daniela Schiereck-Bohlmann read out the name of each dead patient and the charges against the defendant.
Source: The Guardian