Entire Netherlands "deeply affected" by De Vries' death, PM Rutte says
Politicians in The Hague responded with sadness to the news that crime writer Peter R. de Vries succumbed to injuries he sustained in a shooting in Amsterdam last week. His death "deeply, very deeply" affected Prime Minister Mark Rutte. "The whole of the Netherlands is deeply affected," Rutte said to NOS.
The caretaker Prime Minster called De Vries "committed, tenacious, afraid of nothing and no one. Always in search of the truth and in the breach for justice. And therefore all the more dramatic that he himself has now become a victim of great injustice." Rutte said that "this cowardly act" must not go unpunished. "We will do everything we can to fight crime by all possible means."
Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus expressed a similar sentiment. "The approach will really take a few more years, because it is a many headed monster that also fights back. But we have to tackle these criminal bastards." He called De Vries a brave man. "He can be described n four words: uncompromising, fearless, tenacious and compassionate."
PvdA leader Lilianne Ploumen referred to De Vries' motto - "I'd rather die standing than live on my knees". She called De Vries a special person and a pillar of support to many. "The Netherlands will miss him."
D66 leader Sigrid Kaag tweeted that De Vries' fight for justice "is a task for all of us". "To do good regardless of opposition. That law and justice may prevail."
"What terribly sad news," PVV leader Geert Wilders responded. "Lots of strength and condolences to all family members, friends and colleagues."
CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra said that De Vries' fight against injustice must continue. He called him a "great champion of free journalism and our rule of law. An exceptionally brave man, who never gave up."
The families of the murder victims De Vries supported over the years also responded with sadness. They described him as "a great man", a "friend for life", and "as tenacious as a terrier", NOS reports.
"He was a fighter for everyone," Bauke Vaatstra, father of Marianne Vaatstra who was murdered in 1999, said to NOS. "He guided us well all those years. The Public Prosecution Service was cold He was a man who actually brought a bit of love to the people. A bit of softness."
"He fought all these years for everyone who asked for his help, said Berthie Verstappen, mother of Nicky Verstappen who was killed in 1998. "Such a wonderful man. Dear father, dear grandfather, dear friend. It should not be like this."
Peter Wiegmink, brother of Alex Wiegmink who was murdered in 2003, was shocked by the attack on De Vries. "This is the last thing you'd expect," he said to NOS. "If you came to him and got the opportunity to tell your story, that's the last straw. If he couldn't solve it, then it's a lost cause."