Appeal court judges have upheld the 30 year sentences imposed on two men who murdered lawyer Derk Wiersum, despite the public prosecution’s call for life.
Giërmo B (37) and Moreno B (32), who both claimed to have an alibi for the shooting, were first convicted in 2021 on the grounds of DNA and telephone evidence, and the fact they both had large amounts of money shortly after the murder.
Wiersum was acting for Nabil B, a key witness in a major drugs and murder trial revolving around gang leader Ridouan Taghi, when he was killed near his home in Buitenveldert, Amsterdam in 2019.
Taghi is one of 17 people currently standing trial in Amsterdam accused of ordering six murders and another seven attempted killings between 2015 and 2017.
The killing of Wiersum was described at the time as a ‘new, dark phase’ in the increasingly deadly underworld drug wars and prompted justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus to pledge tough new measures against drug criminals.
At the moment life prisoners become eligible for parole after 25 years, when they can take their case to a special panel that assesses their behaviour and development in prison, the risk of re-offending and the impact their release could have on victims and their relatives.
The final say rests with the minister for legal protection but last year the Dutch sentencing council RSJ said the ministerial role should be scrapped.
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