De Vries murder trial verdict pushed back in light of new evidence
A court in Amsterdam has postponed the verdict in the trial of two men charged with the murder of crime journalist Peter R. de Vries after the prosecution announced new evidence in the case.
The Amsterdam District Court announced last week it was reopening the trial, after hearings ended on June 15th.
In a statement, the court said it was ‘forced to reopen the investigation’ after new information came to light about the brazen killing. The court was scheduled to issue its ruling on Thursday.
According to the prosecution, the information – mostly statements from an anonymous witness referred to as witness 5089 – only came to light recently. The witness wanted a guarantee of safety before talking to the police.
Lawyers for both defendants were suspicious, accusing prosecutors of having the information earlier than they would admit.
The public prosecution service initially wanted to move forward with verdict on July 14 as scheduled, but once the court concluded the new information would be added to the case file, it agreed to delay a decision in the case until after the summer. Judges briefly debated separating the two cases, but concluded the trials were inextricable.
Prosecutors say Delano G, a 22-year-old from Tiel, shot de Vries five times as he was walking to his car on the Lange Leidsedwarsstraat in Amsterdam in July 2021 while 33-year-old Polish national Kamil E drove the getaway vehicle. The prosecution has demanded a life sentence for both men.
At the time of his death, de Vries was acting as an official confidant to Nabil B., a key crown witness in the Marengo case, in which suspected gang leader Ridouan Taghi and 16 other men stand accused of commissioning assassinations in the Dutch underworld between 2015 and 2017.
Three more arrests have been made in recent weeks in connection with the murder. Two men thought to have made and circulated films after the killing were arrested in Spain and Curaçao last week. Police believe the films were intentionally made and circulated via social media to increase the impact of the murder. The day before, the public prosecutor announced that a 27-year-old man with Polish nationality has also been arrested.
Another hearing will be scheduled for October.
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