By Kirsten Nour Namskau
In 1979 I was witness to a child got hit by a car and died instantly.
Immediately, it gathered a lot of people and I was pushed behind. I thought that it seamed that it was witnesses enough in this case and both police and ambulance was around the corner, so even before I left . . . they had arrived.
The police-office was actually cross the street of where the accident happened, and there was a man (Hans) with his friend (Gunnar), reporting Hans’s car stolen at the time of the accident. Gunnar had driven Hans, since his car was stolen.
The driver of the car had not stopped. He had right after the accident only driven away and disappeared.
Eventually, after witness’s statement the car was found and the owner of the car was brought to court. . . . Hans.
The girl was killed in the accident by the stolen car of Hans.
12 witnesses had attended the court. Among them was Hans’s friend, who had been with him at the police-station at the time of the accident and the police-officer who had written the rapport of the stolen car.
They had all witnessed against him.
I had not reported myself as a witness, because I thought it was witnesses enough.
What actually happened, I don’t know . . . but one day the police came to my door with a subpoena, saying that I was to attend the court that day with the police.
I came to court and was directed to the stand.
I was told that they had learn to know that I had been witness to the accident and they wanted me to tell what I had seen.
The prosecutor came up to me and asked: “ Can you see the driver of the car in the court?”
I looked around in the court to see if I could see him, but I couldn’t.
The prosecutor was impatient and said: “Is it that difficult to see him? “
I said: “Yes, I can not see the driver in the court.”
The prosecutor said: “But isn’t it the man sitting there? “ He pointed at Hans.
“He is the owner of the car.”
I looked at Hans . . . and said: “No. That was not the driver. If it is his car, then he must have let someone else been diving it, but that man was not in the car at all.”
The prosecutor asked: “So, how was the looking of the driver? “
I answered: “He was young, about 18 / 19 years old, light, half long curly hair, combed with side-dividing and some of the hair coming down in his forehead, blue eyes, full lips, oval face and a strait nose.”
Everybody looked at Hans . . . Who had dark hair, waved and combed backwards, brown eyes, square face, thinly lips, snub nose and was about 30 years old.
Hans was staring at me with surprise as his mouth dropped.
For a moment, all the people in the court looked at me and it was death silent.
Then the prosecutor cleared his troth and said: “Why are you protecting him? You are lying ! We have had 12 other witnesses here and all of them have pointed out the person accused.”
He continued: “ And by the way . . . How can you describe the looking of his face, when you were behind the car? “
I said: “If you have had 12 other witnesses here, pointing at the accused, then you have had 12 witnesses lying.”
The prosecutor cut me off and shouted with anger: “Are you disgracing the court? “
I rose from the chair, like as angry, turned to the judge and said: “ Your honor. I was brought to this court by subpoena. When I am now here . . . I am going to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing else but the truth as I also have sworn on the Bible. If you want me to lie, then it is you who are disgracing me. Either you believe what I say or you let me go.”
The Judge looked at me with surprise as I did not sit down again before he told me to do so.
Then the judge asked: “But how can you tell the looking of the face, when you were behind the car.”
I cleared my voice and said: “ As I was standing behind the car, I look into the rear-mirror of the car to see if I could see the driver . . . . And I could, and at certain point . . . the driver also looked in the rear-mirror and our eyes met as we looked at each-other.”
Both the judge, the prosecutor and the lawyer of Hans as well as the rest of the people in the court looked at me in silent with open mouth . . . . for several minutes.
The court took reassess to the next day.
They made an act-play of the case and put me in position of where I had been standing . . .
And I proofed that I could see the face of the driver in the rear-mirror.
Hans got acquitted.
The news-paper wrote about the case . . . . and three month later a young man came up and reported himself as the driver of the car, he the same morning had stolen.
Later, I asked the friend of Hans, how he could witness false, when he knew the car was stolen, it was him who had gone with Hans to the police and was with him at the time of the accident?
He said: “When 11 others had pointed him out, it would have looked strange if I said the opposite.”
I went to the police-office and asked the police-man who had taken the rapport why he had witness false.
He said: “I could have looked wrong at the clock . . . and it’s none of your business anyway.”
I said: “Well, but this shows that we can not even trust the police, or our best friends. But among all the others . . . I dared to tell the truth . . . and I always will . . . Even if I am the only one in the world. “