Key witness' murdered brother refused extensive security, Prosecutor says

Police
Police. (Politie)

The brother of key witness Nabil B., who was shot and killed in Amsterdam on Thursday morning, chose not to accept all the protection measures the Dutch authorities offered him, spokesperson Ties Kortman of the Public Prosecutor said, according to newspaper AD. 

Reduan B., 41, was gunned down at his business on TT Melissaweg around 9:00 a.m. on Thursday. According to AD, the gunman pretended to be a job seeker. On Friday last week the Public Prosecutor announced that 30-year-old Nabil B. gave witness statements on a number of assassinations in the so-called Amsterdam gang war. Before turning witness, Nabil was threatened by leaders of the criminal gangs involved in the war.

A protection plan and safety measures were extensively discussed with B.'s family, according to Kortman. "The victim wanted to make limited use of this. We saw certain risks and offered a broader range of protection, but he did not want to make use of it." The authorities can't force someone to cooperate with a protection plan, people are always free to decide for themselves. 

The Prosecutor added that the measures concerning B.'s other family members are now being examined. "We're looking at that now. The Public Prosecution service is shocked by this news." The Prosecutor would not comment on what security measures were offered to Reduan, or whether any of the other family members declined extra security measures. 

According to broadcaster NOS, Nabil B. gave the police around 26 witness statements regarding the Amsterdam gang war, in exchange for protection. With the help of this key witness, the Public Prosecutor hopes to get 40-year-old Ridouan T. arrested and convicted. The Public Prosecutor believes he was involved in multiple assassination, including the mistaken identity murder of Amsterdam DJ Djordy Latumahina in October 2016. The Prosecutor recently demanded up to 30 years in prison against other suspects in this case. 

Earlier this week Redouan T. was placed on the national wanted list. 

The murder of Reduan B. led to shock among Amsterdam and national politicians. The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, demanded an emergency debate on underworld assassinations. And Amsterdam politicians called for more police, according to Het Parool.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the murder "terrible". "I can not say too much because it is an individual matter, but this is terrible and completely unacceptable."

Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security called it an "extremely brutal situation". He too did not want to say much about it, in the interest of the investigation. According to Grapperhaus, the government is pushing a lot more money into countering these kinds of "terrible actions". "We are going to tackle this form of crime very hard."

Amsterdam political parties are calling on The Hague to increase police capacity. "Organized crime is fighting a war in our neighborhoods and streets and to deal with that extra detectives are necessary", GroenLinks faction leader Rutger Groot Wassink said, according to Het Parool. 

VVD leader in Amsterdam Eric van der Burg agrees. "This is an attack on our constitutional state to murder witnesses' family members in this way. Maximum effort is needed, with no restrictions on staff and finances. That requires extra money and the cabinet must provide it.

D66 faction leader Reinier van Dantzig calls for a joint approach against gang violence. "This requires not only more police and detectives, but also a joint Amsterdam approach. May commitment, and that of many parties with me, is to make this a top priority."

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