Still no sight on defense lawyer's killer

Police at Derk Wiersum shooting scene
Amsterdam Police cordoned off the crime scene where attorney Derk Wiersum was fatally shot. Sept. 18, 2019Image: Politie Amsterdam

The police are still no closer to catching the man who gunned down defense lawyer Derk Wiersum in front of his home in the Buitenveldert neighborhood of Amsterdam last week Wednesday. On Opsporing Verzocht on Tuesday, the police called on witnesses to come forward, especially people who noticed anything out of the ordinary in the neighborhood in the weeks before the shooting. 

Initially the police described the gunman as a teenager, but now adjusted the description. The police are looking for a man between the ages of 20 and 25 years old. He has a slender posture and is around 1.75 meters tall. On the day of the shooting he was dressed all in black. Because he was wearing a hoodie, the police cannot say anything about his skin color or any remarkable facial characteristics.

Wiersum, a 44-year-old father of two, was shot dead while with his wife outside of their home on Imstenrade in the Buitenveldert neighborhood of Amsterdam. The defense attorney died at the scene soon after the 7:30 a.m. incident on Wednesday. The police called it likely that the gunman was waiting for Wiersum to leave his home. 

The authorities currently assume that Wiersum was assassinated because he was representing Nabil B., a crime suspect turned informant. B. was giving testimony since last year against the drug-centered criminal organization allegedly run by Ridouan Taghi. B. linked Taghi to nine separate murders, and a string of attempted murders and never executed murder plans.

After Wiersum's assassination, the national coordinator for counter terrorism and security NCTV arranged extra security measures for dozens of people, including prosecutors, lawyers and judges working on the Taghi case, referred to as the Marengo process.