Attacks similar to De Vries and Wiersum cases possible in the future: police chief
Police and Public Prosecutors anticipated more attacks similar to the assassination of crime reporter Peter R. de Vries this summer, Amsterdam police chief Frank Paauw said in an interview with EenVandaag.
Lead Public Prosecutor at the Amsterdam court of justice René Beukelaer said that authorities had drawn the "bitter conclusion" that they cannot guarantee total proteection. "It is a shocking truth, but it is also a realistic truth," De Beukelaer said.
De Vries was the third person related to the Marengo process to get killed. De Vries had been a confidant of key witness Nabil B. B.'s brother, as well as, his former lawyer Derk Wiersum had both been murdered before the attack on De Vries.
Criminals have also devised more nuanced approaches, according to De Beukelaer. "Everything is possible now," De Beuekelaar said. Extra protection measures are also only possible in accordance with the person in need of protection.
Crime reporter De Vries had refused extra security, yet his lawyer and friend Peter Schouten believed this would have been necessary to protect his life. "[De Vries] did not want to share his plans with the police or OM. If he visited a source, he did want it to be known," Schouten said. "He did not want extra protection, but I think it would have been necessary. Although, he did take the threats against him seriously."
Once he and De Vries requested formal protection from the National Coordinator for Terrorism Prevention (NCTV), yet they denied the request stating the the crime reporter was not officially part of the Marengo process.
The lead officer said they requested half a billion euros from the government to be able to fight organized crime. "This is not a luxury; this is a must to make a difference," De Beukelaar said.
Even with additional funding De Beueklaar said it would only be in "utopia" that 100 percent protection is possible.
Police chief Paauw expected that extra safety measures would be needed in the future in some high-profile cases as the fight against organized crime intensifies.