Monday 19 August 2019

Killer nurse says sorry for his 'terrible deeds'

Hoegel was convicted in 2015 of two murders and two attempted murders. Photo: Reuters/Mohssen Assanimoghaddam
Hoegel was convicted in 2015 of two murders and two attempted murders. Photo: Reuters/Mohssen Assanimoghaddam

David Rising

A former nurse on trial over allegations that he killed 100 patients at two hospitals in Germany has apologised to his victims' relatives in a final statement to the court.

Niels Hoegel (42) said he realised how much pain and suffering he had caused with his "terrible deeds".

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"To each and every one of you, I sincerely apologise for all that I have done," he told the Oldenburg regional court after his lawyers had made their closing arguments.

His lawyers argued for acquittals in 31 of 100 counts of murder, suggesting there was not enough evidence.

The deaths - at a hospital in Oldenburg between 1999 and 2002 and another hospital in Delmenhorst from 2003 to 2005 - are thought to be the largest string of serial killings in post-war Germany. The alleged victims ranged in age between 34 and 96.

"Neither we nor Mr Hoegel deny that he is the perpetrator in many cases," one of his lawyers said. "But he can only be convicted for crimes he committed and not for crimes he could have committed."

Hoegel was convicted in 2015 of two murders and two attempted murders.

He said at his first trial that he intentionally brought about cardiac crises in 90 patients in Delmenhorst because he enjoyed the feeling of being able to resuscitate them. He later told investigators he also killed patients in Oldenburg.

Authorities investigated hundreds of deaths, exhuming bodies of former patients.

Christian Marbach, whose grandfather was among the victims, doubted Hoegel's sincerity in apologising.

"Hoegel is and remains a liar," he said.

A verdict is expected today.

Irish Independent

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