Report slams security failings ahead of three murders linked to crime gang
There were significant failings on behalf of the police, public prosecution department and counter-terrorism unit NCTV ahead of three murders connected to a major criminal organisation, the government’s safety research council OVV said on Wednesday.
Lawyer Derk Wiersum, television crime journalist Peter R de Vries and innocent bystander Reduan B were all linked to the same police investigation into the Ridouan Taghi crime gang and were all shot dead.
Warnings were ignored ahead of each murder and crucial information was not shared with the other parties involved, the OVV said in a 100 page report on the killings.
The report shows that Nabil B, a crown witness, and his family, including Reduan, had said they were in danger repeatedly but that the Bewaken en Beveiligen domestic security unit would only intervene on the basis of concrete information.
Warnings by other family members did not count, and police and the prosecution department did not share the information they had with the security experts, the report said.
Reduan was shot dead in his company office in March 2018, two weeks after he was told there was not enough capacity to offer him security.
The situation was similar in the case of lawyer Derk Wiersum, who was representing Nabil B. And information about a black Renault Megane, seen several times in the vicinity of Wiersum’s home was not followed up on, even though it had false number plates, the report said.
Wiersum was shot dead in front of his home in Amsterdam in September 2018.
In the case of Peter R de Vries, signals were missed or left uninvestigated. In particular, a warning from a worker at the car park where De Vries parked his car while appearing on television talk show RTL Boulevard was not properly acted upon.
He reported that De Vries had been followed by a man with distinctive tattoos. Police found nothing notable on security camera footage and failed to pass on the information. De Vries was shot dead as he walked to his car on July 6, 2021.
The man later transpired to be Kamil E, now on trial for his role in the murder.
The OVV says in its recommendations that in future the police and prosecution department need to make sure that proper security measures are in place before going public about having crown witnesses. In addition, processes for exchanging information between the groups involved in the Bewaken en Beveiligen unit need to be improved.
De Vries’s son Royce said the OVV’s conclusions make for ‘extremely difficult’ reading.
The report, he said. ‘has had more impact on me than I thought. The mistakes that were made, the way it went down. My father was repeatedly left standing in front of a closed door.’
Justice minister Dilan Yeşilgöz said she would adopt the OVV’s recommendations for ‘further reform’ of the system.
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