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Journalist wrongfully arrested in dispute with hospital wins battle to clear his name

UMC Utrecht.Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A journalist who spent six hours in solitary confinement after being arrested trying to attend a lecture for a terminally ill cancer patient has won a five-year battle to clear his name.

Ton van der Ham was never charged in an incident at the UMC Utrecht Teaching Hospital in April 2018, but the Public Prosecutor’s Office considered him disturbing the peace and recorded the incident as a criminal record. bottom.

After the journalist appealed to the State Ombudsman, prosecutors investigated the case and found him unlawfully detained. Last week, prosecutors formally revoked his suspect status, saying it was “unjustified.”

Van der Hamm, who was investigating allegations of mismanagement in hospitals for the TV current affairs show Zembra, was invited to speak on healthcare transparency by Adrian Cullen in April 2018. it was done. However, when he arrived, security denied him entry and told him that he could interview Karen later in the hallway.

Cullen fought the hospital for five years to admit culpability after the hospital lost medical records that revealed she had cervical cancer in 2011.

By the time she was diagnosed in 2013, the disease had progressed and was no longer curable. She died on New Year’s Day 2018 after the hospital admitted her responsibility, agreed to pay €545,000 in compensation, and issued a written apology from her CEO.

Arrest ‘sorry’

As van der Hamm set up the camera for an interview, a security guard reappeared and ordered him to stop filming. He was held in solitary confinement for six hours.

A month later, prosecutors said they were dropping the case, saying the journalist’s arrest was “disappointing”. bottom.

National Ombudsman Reigned last November The prosecutor’s office should reconsider its position in the interest of journalism, calling the original decision “incomprehensible”. formally declared that he had been designated as a suspect.

van der ham he said he was relieved to finally clear his name“If a journalist complied with all demands but was arrested based on false speculation, getting a criminal record is not the right thing to do,” he told BNNVARA.

“dictatorial culture”

Cullen later said in an interview with Van der Ham that he had specifically asked to attend the talk because of his job scrutinizing hospitals.

“I wanted to bring together all the media out there, not just the select media that perhaps the hospital thought might resonate with their point of view,” she said. I especially wanted you to be there, so as you know, I asked you to come.

Karen and her husband, The Hague-based Irish journalist Peter Klasky, were highly critical of the hospital’s decision. ‘Lack of humanity’ Use of nausea clauses to prevent cases of medical negligence from being published.

Cluskey told DutchNews that serious questions still have to be answered about the hospital’s response to the arrest and its widespread failure to admit institutional faults and take no action.

“He didn’t do anything wrong, so I’m glad he was acquitted. We need to investigate how the police got involved,” Krasky said.

“And why did they shut the door on one of the country’s leading investigative journalists when they were hosting a lecture on openness and transparency? Another manifestation.

“Here is another opportunity for the Board to clean up the situation. Two of Adrienne’s samples have been lost and it is not yet known what happened to the second sample.

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2023/04/journalist-wrongly-arrested-in-dispute-with-hospital-wins-fight-to-clear-his-name/ Journalist wrongfully arrested in dispute with hospital wins battle to clear his name

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