Wed, Jul 24, 2024
A Dutch court is delivering verdicts in the trial of 9 suspects in the slaying of reporter De Vries

A Dutch court is delivering verdicts in the trial of 9 suspects in the slaying of reporter De Vries

  • PublishedJune 12, 2024

THE HAGUE – A Dutch court is delivering verdicts Wednesday in the trial of nine men suspected of involvement in the assassination three years ago of popular campaigning journalist Peter R. de Vries on a busy Amsterdam street.

Prosecutors have sought convictions and life sentences for the man charged with gunning down De Vries on July 6, 2021, the alleged getaway driver and a man suspected of organizing the assassination. De Vries died nine days later of his injuries at age 64.

In January, prosecutors requested sentences ranging from three to 21 years for the six other suspects in the case.

The slaying sparked outrage, grief and anger throughout the Netherlands. Dutch King Willem-Alexander called the shooting of de Vries “an attack on journalism, the cornerstone of our constitutional state and therefore also an attack on the rule of law.”

De Vries had been an adviser and confidant for a protected witness in the trial of the alleged leader and other members of a crime gang. The witness’ brother and lawyer were both murdered.

The group’s top gangster, Ridouan Taghi, was convicted of his role in five gangland killings and sentenced to life behind bars in February. Judges called him the “undisputed leader” of a “murder organization.”

Taghi has not been charged with involvement in the assassination of De Vries and prosecutors have not charged any suspects with ordering him killed.

“The fact that the person who ordered the killing is not known and is not on trial here naturally hangs like a shadow over this trial,” Annemiek van Spanje, a lawyer for the De Vries family, told The Associated Press earlier this year.

The alleged shooter was arrested less than an hour after the attack, along with a Polish man, identified only as Kamil E. who was the alleged getaway driver. Prosecutors told judges at Amsterdam District Court that the weapon used to shoot de Vries was found in their car.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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