Netherlands: verdict expected against nine suspects for the murder of a famous journalist: News

Netherlands: verdict expected against nine suspects for the murder of a famous journalist: News
Netherlands: verdict expected against nine suspects for the murder of a famous journalist: News

A Dutch court delivers its verdict on Wednesday in the trial of nine suspects for the 2021 murder of famous crime journalist Peter R. de Vries, whose death shocked the Netherlands.

The 64-year-old journalist was shot dead in broad daylight on a street in central Amsterdam on July 6, 2021. He died nine days after the attack, which prosecutors said was linked to his role in the trial of a Dutch drug lord.

Mr. De Vries was then advisor to the main prosecution witness in this trial against Ridouan Taghi, sentenced in February to life in prison for murders committed by his gang.

Two suspects, identified only as the Dutchman Delano G. and the Polish Kamil E., were arrested shortly after the attack on the journalist.

The first is accused of pulling the trigger and the second of having driven the car in their escape and of having carried out surveillance before the shooting. Both face life imprisonment.

Seven other suspects were subsequently arrested. During the hearings – which took place at the “bunker”, an ultra-secure court in Amsterdam – the nine accused either pleaded not guilty or invoked their right to silence.

Almost immediately after the attack, a video circulated on social media showing Mr De Vries seriously injured. Partly because of this video, the suspects were charged with “murder with terrorist intent.”

Thousands of mourners filed past the coffin of Peter R. de Vries after his death, paying tribute to the journalist described as a “national hero”.

– Blacklist –

Mr. De Vries became internationally known for covering the 1983 kidnapping of Freddy Heineken. His book was made into a film in 2015, starring Anthony Hopkins in the title role in the film “Kidnapping Mr. Heineken.”

The journalist then moved to television, where he had his own crime show called “Peter R. de Vries, Crime Reporter.” He became known for his involvement in several criminal cases.

Since 2020, he was advisor and confidant of Nabil B., the main prosecution witness in the Taghi affair, described as the country’s most wanted criminal before his arrest in Dubai in 2019.

That same year, Mr. De Vries revealed that the authorities had informed him that he was on a blacklist established by Mr. Taghi.

Nabil B.’s brother was killed in 2018 and his lawyer, Derk Wiersum, was shot dead in 2019. After Mr. De Vries’ death, the three killings sparked comments that the Netherlands was become a “narco-state”.

The threat was felt in the highest echelons of Dutch society. Crown Princess Amalia, daughter of King Willem-Alexander, lived in Spain for her studies for fear of an attack by organized crime.

The king and Prime Minister Mark Rutte have been mentioned in messages from organized crime groups, sparking fears of attack or kidnapping.

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