Suspect in defense lawyer's murder has long criminal record: report

Flowers at Derk Wiersum's office
Flowers outside the office of Derk Wiersum, killed in a shooting. Sept. 26, 2019Photo: NL Times

Giermo B., one of the suspects in the murder of defense attorney Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam last year, has a long criminal record. He previously spent years in prison for two armed robberies and assaulting a prison employee, RTL Boulevard reports based on its own research. 

Over the past months, four suspects were arrested in connection with Wiersum's murder. B., a 36-year-old man from Almere, is one of two who are still in custody. On Monday, the Public Prosecution Service announced that B. is suspected of complicity in Wiersum's murder. Previous reports that B. was the suspected gunman were based on incorrect information, the Prosecutor said, according to NOS.

B. and another man were convicted of two armed robberies committed in May 2012, according to RTL Boulevard. They first robbed a paint shop in Woudenberg, stabbing the owner of Willie het Verfboertje in the leg and stealing over 8 thousand euros. They also robbed a couple from Tienhoven, threatening the victims and tying them up. For the two robberies, B. was sentenced to seven years in prison by the Arnhem-Leeuwarden court, a spokesperson for the court confirmed to RTL. 

In 2015, B. was also convicted of possession of 50 grams of hashish in the prison in Vught. He was sentenced to two weeks in prison with three months' probation, and 10 days in isolation by a court, according to the broadcaster. The next year B. assaulted an employee of the Vught prison, for which he spent 14 days in isolation. 

B. will appear in court for the first time next week Wednesday, for a proforma hearing. He is suspected of "murder in association", which means that he is suspected of committing the murder with others, according to NOS. He is also suspected of being in possession of stolen vans, one of which may have been used as the getaway car in Wiersum's murder. 

The defense attorney was gunned down outside his Amsterdam home, in front of his wife, on September 18th. The authorities believe he was assassinated because he represented Nabil B., a crime suspect turned witness in the so-called Marengo process. B. gave testimony linking Ridouan Taghi, the prime suspect in the Marengo process, and the criminal organization he allegedly runs to at least nine assassinations. Taghi was arrested in Dubai last month and deported to the Netherlands a few days later. 

The second suspect in Wiersum's murder who is still in custody is Taghi's cousin. He was arrested later than B. and does not have to appear in court next week.