Journalist’s murder trial: Suspect had gunshot residue on him; Defendant blames unknown missing man
Kamil E., a suspect in the murder of crime reporter Peter R. de Vries, adjusted his earlier statement in the court in Amsterdam on Tuesday. He now claims a third man was in the car with him and co-defendant Delano G. when they drove from Rotterdam to Amsterdam. According to E., this Polish man got out after G. and "had to do something."
The 36-year-old E., the alleged getaway driver in De Vries' murder, never mentioned the third man before and did not want to say anything further "because he was not arrested." Surveillance camera footage doesn't show a third possible suspect, though E. and G. frequently appear on the footage.
G. refused to comment on this third man. "I invoke my right to remain silent," he said. He has yet to comment on the allegations against him. The Public Prosecution Service (OM) believes G. was the gunman. Investigators found gunpowder residue on his hands. The judge asked whether he could explain this. “No,” G. replied calmly.
De Vries was gunned down on July 6 last year in the heart of Amsterdam. He succumbed to his injuries nine days later. The police arrested E. and G. less than an hour after the shooting on an exit on the A4.
The police found the murder weapon (a converted alarm pistol) and a cartridge with D.'s DNA on it in the car. They also found a smartphone containing extremely crude messages about the murder. The suspects communicated with a hitherto unnamed person believed to have controlled the pair. The police are still investigating his role.
The court also showed images of the preliminary reconnaissance E. allegedly carried out on June 23 and 28 last year. E. can be seen walking in Lange Leidsedwarsstraat, where the exit of the RTL Boulevard studio was located. De Vries was shot after leaving the studio.
De Vries can also be seen in the images. He walks to his car in the parking garage, where he always parked it when appearing on RTL Boulevard. E. walks right behind him and also passes in front of the parking garage. The man acknowledged that he is the person in the footage of June 23 but insisted that he was at his mother's house on June 28 and not in Amsterdam.
The court also showed footage of the shooting. De Vries left the RTL Boulevard studio on Lange Leidsedwarsstraat at 7:26 p.m. on July 6 and walked towards the parking garage down the street. Barely three minutes later, he was shot with multiple bullets. The footage shows that the perpetrator approached him from behind. The court warned the packed courtroom of the shocking nature of the images in advance. De Vries' daughter Kelly temporarily left the courtroom.
Other footage showed the fleeing gunman. At 7:31 p.m., he allegedly sent a message to the unidentified man who would have directed the assassination. It stated that he shot De Vries "straight through his head and body" and that he was dead.