Head Public Prosecutor says murder of De Vries likely linked to Taghi case
The head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Gerrit van der Burg, said during Nieuwsuur on Friday evening it is more likely that crime journalist Peter R. de Vries was murdered due to his involvement in the criminal trial surrounding Ridouan Taghi than his work as a journalist.
De Vries died on Thursday, nine days after being shot in the head in the center of Amsterdam. A link was quickly established to murder suspect, Ridouan Taghi. De Vries was a confidant of Nabil B. a key witness in the Marengo trial against Taghi.
B.'s defense attorney, Derk Wiersum, and B.’s brother were also assassinated after Public Prosecutors announced a suspect had turned into a key witness in the Marengo process. Taghi has been suspected of ordering multiple murders and assassination attempts.
Van der Burg emphasized authorities are also “also investigating other directions.” “We understand very well that the link to Taghi was quickly established. But as likely as it may seem, we want to keep the investigation broad.”
Two suspects, 35-year-old Kamil E. from Maurik and 21-year-old Delano G. from Rotterdam were arrested in connection with the murder. It is believed the younger of the two was the one who pulled the trigger. According to De Telegraaf, G. was linked to a group associated to Taghi. G'.s cousin Jaouad 'Joey' W. used to head one of Taghi's "murder gangs".
Van der Burg urged for a tougher approach against organized crime in the Netherlands which includes offering adolescents more opportunities so they are not tempted to turn to crime. “Structure in the neighborhoods, education and sufficient job opportunities. You have to take every step to prevent the youth from thinking that they should turn to crime at all", Van der Burg said.