Public Prosecutor investigating Vindicat

The Public Prosecution Office (OM) in Groningen will launch a criminal investigation into a violent altercation during a hazing ritual at Vindicat after all.
By Rob Siebelink / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

Previously, the OM stated that they would not consider the case unless charges have been pressed. They have now reconsidered that position. ‘The seriousness and impact of the incident justify starting a criminal investigation’, the OM says in a statement.

An aspiring Vindicat member suffered serious head trauma in August after a senior member stood on his head. The criminal investigation will focus on the people involved in the incident, according to the OM.

The young man allegedly suffered a cerebral oedema, a dangerous swelling in the brain caused by accumulating fluids. Whether the student will suffer lasting damage from the assault is unclear.

Vindicat had yet another incident on Monday. A member of the association allegedly fired an air gun at a Vindicat house, Vindicat itself reports. The board has ‘urgently advised’ the people involved to report the incident to the police. They are also considering ‘internal measures’.

Internal investigation

The Vindicat board had previously stated that they regret the incident and that they would launch their own investigation. This investigation has not yet concluded. ‘As soon as we have all the facts from the investigation, we’ll decide on our position in this case and determine which actions we feel we need to take’, according to the board. Six senior members involved were suspended for the remainder of the introduction period, however.

As a result of the commotion around Vindicat, Albertus Magnus will also investigate their last orientation period. Their board has instructed a committee consisting of current and former members to ‘carry out a focused evaluation and analysis’. ‘The orientation will be assessed based on Albertus’ mission statements and societal standards’, Albertus writes on their website.

The board will not say whether that will lead to a different form of hazing or possible abolition. ’Albertus Magnus feels an orientation period for new members is important to maintain the association’s identity and culture.’

Last week, the RUG board said that Groningen should become a hazing free city. Together with the municipality and Hanze university of applied sciences, the RUG will create an external committee that has to see to it that associations end hazing.


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