The public prosecutor of Antwerp has today a unilateral application filed in the court of first instance in Brussels with the request to the program ‘Cold Case’ on VTM, for the time being not to transmit. The first episode, about the murder of Sally Van Hecke, tomorrow night planned. The president of the court has, according to the public prosecutor decides that all parties prd and be heard in a proceeding for summary judgment.
The public prosecutor had already asked for consultation about the broadcast, because the ongoing investigation into the murder of Sally Van Hecke, in 1996, could harm. VTM stated in the promotion for the five-part series that two journalists, it would reveal who the alleged offender is. The public prosecutor’s office reopened, however, in 2017, the research to the facts on the basis of elements which is one of those journalists had done and stated that there are still investigations to happen.
“So there is no question of a cold case or an unsolved murder case, as stated by the programme makers and VTM”, says the public prosecutor’s office today. “The Public Prosecutor must care about the secret and the importance of the research and the rights of the defence and the right to a fair trial, now and in the future.”
Consultation with production company The Nieuwshuis and VTM brought according to the public prosecutor no solution and VTM apparently continues to plan for the series to broadcast in accordance with the original planning. “In the circumstances, saw the public prosecutor of Antwerp is forced to use all legal means to ensure the serenity and continuity of the ongoing criminal investigation to assure”, says the public prosecutor. “If there is prior contact had been between The Nieuwshuis/VTM and the Public Ministry, in the interest of the research agreements can be made about the timing of the broadcast of this series.”
VTM regrets that the public prosecutor’s office and the broadcast of its program “Cold Case” seeks to prevent through a unilateral petition with the court. “We will position to defend in court”, says the commercial broadcaster Wednesday night in a response.
“The makers, the Nieuwshuis reported to us that the public prosecutor already long time ago at the height brought,” says VTM. “Today, it is thanks to the information from the programme makers that the public prosecutor’s office, the 20-year-old case has been reopened. It is very strange to now all of a sudden, the evening before the broadcast, be sued.”
The transmitter will that position defend in court. “We believe it is important that such documentaireprogramma’s can be created and transmitted. Just like that, for example, about the Gang of Nivelles are created and sent. The public has the right to obtain that information.”