Two men stand trial for murder of crime reporter Peter R. de Vries

Peter R. de Vries on TV show De Wereld Draait Door
Peter R. de Vries on TV show De Wereld Draait Door

Two men are going on trial on Monday accused of being involved in the murder of crime reporter Peter R. de Vries, who was shot in a busy street in Amsterdam.

The 64-year-old died nine days after being shot on Lange Leidsedwarsstraat, near Leidseplein, on the evening of July 6, shortly after leaving the studio of TV gossip show RTL Boulevard.

The two suspects were arrested around an hour later when a car was stopped on the A4 motorway near Leidschendam.

Delano G., 22, from Tiel, Gelderland, is alleged to have been the gunman, while 35-year-old Kamil E., a Polish national who moved to Maurik a few months before the shooting, is said to have been the getaway driver.

Prosecutors are expected to produce a large amount of CCTV and video evidence from the scene of the attack, which happened at around 8pm on a Tuesday evening.

The Telegraaf reported that G. is a nephew of an associate of Ridouan Taghi, who is alleged to have ordered a series of gangland murders, fuelling speculation that De Vries was killed on his orders. However, the trial will focus purely on the two suspects’ role in the crime.

Dutch media said De Vries may have been targeted because he represented Nabil B., a key witness in the Marengo case, in which Taghi and 16 other men are charged with commissioning six assassinations in the Dutch underworld between 2015 and 2017.

B.’s lawyer Peter Schouten told NOS: ‘There is a lot of international interest in this trial, because the Netherlands is seen in Europe as a narco-state where things are starting to get out of hand.’

Other witnesses and people associated with the Marengo case have been given stronger protection in the wake of the shooting of De Vries and the murder of Nabil B.’s lawyer, Derk Wiersum, who was shot dead on his doorstep in Amsterdam in 2019.

De Vries had declined an offer of personal security in the months before he was shot because it would have made his job impossible, but an investigation is ongoing into whether police could have done more to protect him through other surveillance methods.

Annemiek van Spanje, a lawyer representing De Vries’s children, said they had mixed emotions about the start of the trial. ‘On the one hand they’re looking forward to it, because it’s the beginning of the criminal trial against the two men who are being held responsible for the death of their father,’ she said.

‘But on the other hand they’re dreading it because it’s going to be a difficult and emotional day for them.’

She said ‘flowers, presents, paintings and messages of support’ were still being delivered every day to the De Vries household.

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