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Monday, 27 May, 2002, 12:54 GMT 13:54 UK
'Black Angel' nurse admits killings
Gyula Nyiroe Hospital, Budapest
The killings took place in this Budapest hospital
A 25-year-old nurse dubbed the "Black Angel" has told a Hungarian court that she killed 30 seriously ill and elderly patients in her care over a period of nine months.

Timea Faludi appeared in court in Budapest for the first day of her trial, where she answered charges of killing eight terminally ill patients at the Gyula Nyiro hospital between May 2000 and February 2001.

Miss Faludi said she considered herself not only responsible for their deaths, but also those of a series of other patients - all of whom had died of overdoses of morphine and other painkillers.

But the nurse, who worked in a special unit for the terminally ill, insisted before the court that she had not intended to kill them, but merely to alleviate their pain.

'Tacitly acknowledged'

Miss Faludi has been in custody since February last year, when she admitted helping up to 40 seriously ill patients die.

She later retracted this confession, and police were only able to find eight cases in which she was strongly suspected of having helped them die.

Euthanasia is illegal in Hungary, and Miss Faludi faces life imprisonment if she is found guilty.

Correspondents say the fact that the alleged victims have now been cremated could make the prosecution's case very difficult.

The court is currently reviewing videotapes of her often contradictory confessions, and the case is expected to continue into next week.

The revelations about Miss Faludi's activities sparked a review of procedures in hospitals across the country when they were made.

Although nurses at the Budapest hospital were banned from giving intravenous injections, this happened and was tacitly accepted, said Miss Faludi in her testimony.

See also:

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