Nurse goes on trial in Germany over 100 patient deaths

01 November, 2018, 22:14 | Author: Kara Nash
  • Niels Hoegel covers his face with a folder as he arrives at the temporary Oldenburg district court at the Weser Ems halls in Oldenburg Germany

Niels Hoegel, 41, has already spent almost a decade in jail on a life term for other patient deaths. There are no formal pleas in the German legal system.

Högel carried out the mindless murders at two hospitals in the cities of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst. The victims range in age from 34 to 96.

He is now charged with a further 97 murders, having confessed to a prison psychologist that the true extent of his killing spree was far larger than supposed.

Hoegel deliberately injected patients in his care with powerful medications which he knew would send them into cardiac arrest, "in an attempt to show off his resuscitation skills to colleagues and fight off boredom", says CNN.

Prosecutors say at least 36 patients were killed at a hospital in Oldenburg where he worked, and about 64 more at a clinic in nearby Delmenhorst, between 2000 and 2005.

The magazine also reported the prosecution exhumed 134 bodies to examine for traces of drugs Hoegel may have used, however more than 100 of the former patients were cremated.

He hid his face behind a folder while being escorted into a festival hall that was serving as a courtroom to accommodate the 126 plaintiffs in Oldenburg.

In Germany was held the first hearing against former employee in the murder of 100 patients.

Presiding Judge Buehrmann opened the proceedings by asking everyone present to stand for a minute of silence for the deceased patients.


"All their relatives deserve that they are honoured", Judge Buehrmann said.

He promised Hoegel a fair trial.

Accused: Hoegel pictured outside court yesterday. He said his grandmother and his father, who were both nurses, had been his role models for going into the profession.

An additional conviction could affect Hoegel's possibility of parole, but there are no consecutive sentences in Germany.

In 2014-15, a second trial found him guilty of two murders and two attempted murders and he was given the maximum sentence.

Hoegel said he had kept quiet "out of shame" and because it had taken him a long time to realise the full scope of what he had done.

The trial is scheduled to last until May.

In 2017, the Oldenburg police chief Johann Kuehme said numerous deaths could have been prevented if the authorities were alerted sooner. Investigators are building a case against former staff at both facilities where Hoegel said he killed his patients.

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