A SPANISH lawyer has slammed ‘scandalous’ British bureaucratic delays that are keeping an allegedly innocent man behind bars.
Dutchman Romano van der Dussen is waiting for the arrival of key DNA evidence from the UK Home Office, despite the fact the evidence was first requested by Spanish authorities in 2013.
The DNA is expected to clear his name of three attempted rapes in Fuengirola in August 2003.
The attacks are suspected to have really been committed by British man Mark Dixie, currently serving a life sentence for the 2005 London murder of 18-year-old model Sally Anne Bowman.
Van der Dussen – from Leiden in the Netherlands – was jailed for 15 years in 2003, but his lawyers are urging the UK Home Office to speed up the process of clearing his name.
“We cannot understand why the British are taking so long in providing the evidence that will prove his innocence and free him. This must be dealt with as a matter of priority,” said Silverio Garcia Sierra.
“An innocent man has been locked up for 11 years which is scandalous. We implore the British authorities to act now to help free an innocent man from prison.”
Spanish police found a DNA sample and a fingerprint at the scene of the first of the three Fuengirola attacks.
Van der Dussen was charged despite tests showing that it was neither his DNA nor his fingerprint.
Two British witnesses further insisted that they were with him 20km away in Torremolinos on the night of the attack.
Dixie was arrested in June 2006 for the murder of Sally Anne, after his DNA matched blood and semen found at the scene of her murder in Croydon, south London.
Scotland Yard sent a report to Spanish police following his arrest, including a DNA sample and evidence that Dixie had lived on the Costa del Sol for a year, between 2002 and 2003.
Spanish police reported that Dixie’s DNA matched that found at the Fuengirola scene to a judge in 2006.
In July 2013, a Spanish court re-investigating the attacks asked the UK Central Authority for a fresh sample of Dixie’s DNA.
The request was repeated as a ‘matter of urgency’ in April 2014, and the tests were finally carried out last month.
But the results have still not arrived in Spain, meanwhile Van der Dussen remains in jail.
Van der Dussen said: “I’ve learned to not get my hopes up, because I have been let down so many times. The authorities have known for eight years that Mark Dixie carried out the crimes I was jailed for but they don’t care.”