A convicted Dutchman who died nine days ago in a government hospital here was laid to rest in a city cemetery on Friday.
Wilheums, who was convicted for paedophilia in 2011, was admitted to the hospital by Puzhal prison authorities on February 11 after he complained of respiratory problems. He died two days later and the news was communicated to the Netherlands embassy. As the Tamil Nadu police received information that his mother had refused to take possession of the body, the autopsy could not be conducted immediately. The police had to wait for further instructions from the embassy.
In case of a prisoner’s death, the police have to seek the magistrate’s permission to perform an autopsy and dispose the body. In this case, after the embassy appointed an officer to oversee the procedures, there was further delay as the magistrate refused to accept the mother’s letter as the final word. He wanted a written confirmation from the embassy, with clear instructions regarding burial.
On Thursday, the autopsy was not carried out as planned as relevant papers had not reached the police.
Wilheums was sentenced to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment based on the evidence provided by the Chennai Police’s cyber crime cell. He was accused of uploading child pornographic pictures on the internet; the city police arrested him from a house in Chintadripet based on a tip-off from Interpol.
A fast track court convicted him in 2011, making him the first person in the country to be convicted under Section 67 (B) of India’s amended Information Technology Act.
The convict’s body was buried at the cemetery attached to the St. Mary’s Church in Mylapore.