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The Exit Internationalist

April 21, 2024

Prosecutor Demands Prison Sentences in Middel X Case

De Volkskrant

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Six (former) members of Coöperatie Laatste Wil have been given prison sentences ranging from 30 to 6 months in the mega criminal case concerning the distribution of suicide powder Middel X.

The public prosecutor is seeking a single acquittal, against former board member Petra de Jong.

The prosecutor has painted a picture of ‘profound idealism’: these suspects, all over 70, believed so much in end-of-life self-determination that they had ‘become blind to the reprehensibility of their modus operandi, or they ‘took that at face value’.

‘Covertly’ and for all intents and purposes, Middel X was provided around so-called living room conversations.


By jointly maintaining a distribution system – ‘a clandestine dispensary for Medium X’ – the suspects, the Prosecutor argues that they  hindered the government in protecting weak and vulnerable persons from themselves, a human right.

The suspects directly or indirectly enabled people to end their lives, according to the prosecution, but ‘who were they to decide this?’

Distribution System

‘Only a prison sentence is appropriate’ for these behaviours the State has argued.

A prison sentence is required ‘because of the strong convictions within this group, also necessary to dissuade others from setting up or participating in a Middel X distribution system’.

Suspects Tineke B. (74) and Loek de L. (80) have received the heaviest prison sentences: 30 months, of which 12 months were suspended.

They – like the five others – are suspected of participating in a criminal organisation whose aim is to provide assisted suicide.

In addition, they are suspected of providing Medium X.

The prosecution argues that De L. has been linked to three deaths with the drug.

De L. admitted in his interrogation that he supplied Middel X to these people (and hundreds of others).

Tineke B. is linked to two people who died by Means X.

She denies having supplied these people, but did admit to sometimes selling the drug.

The State also charges that Tineke B.  she introduced dispenser Alex the group. Alex S. (who was tried last year), bought Middel X in bulk and packaged and sold it in user portions to members of CLW.

This enabled him to supply the drug to hundreds of them. Alex S. was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison, of which a year and a half was suspended.

Did not do enough

The Prosecutor has asked that the former Chairman of CLW, Jos van Wijk serve 18 months in prison (of which eight months would be suspended).

According to the public prosecutor, van Wijk had two faces: ‘outwardly’ he stated that he did everything possible ‘to prevent illegal activities’ within CLW, but meanwhile he actively contributed to ‘maintaining the distribution system’.

In court it was heard that Van Wijk did not act forcefully enough against the dispensing of Medium X in so-called living room meetings of CLW.

‘He could have pulled the plug on the living room meetings immediately at the first signs of dispensing.’

Lower sentences are demanded against three other members: Marja K. (76), Erik van V. (75) and Jos S. (75) who are seen as mediators.

They put people in touch with providers.

The prosecution has asked for prison sentences ranging from nine to six months.

About Petra de Jong, the prosecutor stated that she probably knew that Means X was provided around living room meetings, but that it could not be established that she belonged to a criminal association.

This article was originally published in Dutch in De Volkskrant. The author is Haro Kraak

About CLW

In the Netherlands, you have the freedom to arrange a lot yourself: who you marry, where you live… You can even decide down to the euro cent what happens to your money when you die. But you don’t get to decide your own death.

We are currently involved in court cases that mainly show how outdated the current legislation around assisted suicide is.

The Last Will Cooperative is fighting for new legislation so that you can choose for a dignified end of life when the time is right. Because the right to self-determination applies to your whole life, including death.

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