On the second day of the trial, Jos Brech does some striking scattered …


Suspect Jos B. and his lawyer Gerald Roethof during the non-substantive hearing in the court of Maastricht in 2018
Photo: ANP

Although Jos Brech, suspected of killing, abusing and kidnapping 11-year-old Nicky Verstappen in 1998, had indicated several times that he invoked his right to remain silent, on the second day of his trial on Tuesday, he made a number of striking slips of the tongue. For example, he said that he had seen Nicky at the place where the boy was at camp, to later change it to the location of the body. At times when the judges or prosecutors questioned Tuesday, Brech indicated that he would refrain from commenting.

During the first day of the session, after years of silence, he stated that he had found the boy’s body, but that Nicky had already died by then. Out of fear – Brech has a moral past – he did not dare to report this. The 57-year-old from Dutch Limburg also evaded further questions about this in the court in Maastricht on Tuesday.

Brech said he had decided he “didn’t want anything to do with the case.” He said that he took that decision “after I found the boy at the Heikop in 1998”. Nicky’s body was found a kilometer away in a spruce forest on Brunssummerheide, about a kilometer from where Nicky was at camp. De Limburger said he no longer knew exactly what he had said shortly before. “I was on the heath, so …”

READ ALSO. “I carry a secret: I found Nicky, but he was already dead”: Murder suspect Jos Brech breaks the silence (+)

DNA traces

The case remained unsolved for years, until the Dutchman came into the picture after a large-scale DNA relationship study. Brech had not cooperated in this. But because his family reported him missing and sent items containing his DNA to the police, a 100 percent DNA match was made. Traces of him have been found on Nicky’s pajama pants and underpants.

When this topic was discussed, Brech also made contradictory statements. For example, he said that when he had found Nicky’s body he cycled again “the day after” to the Brunssummerheide and was stopped there by the military police, the police in the Netherlands with a military style. The court asked Brech what he meant the day after. After all, on Monday during the first day of session in court, he had stated that he had found Nicky dead on August 11. That same night he was stopped.


Brech also said contradictory things about his meeting with the Marechaussee. He stated that at the time he had decided to say that he had found a dead boy, but that he had understood from the military police that the boy had now been found. However, there is no indication that the military police had told Brech about this.

Next week, the handling of the lawsuit will continue, when experts will speak. The Public Prosecution Service will formulate the sentence on Thursday. It is not yet known when the court will rule.

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