Polish police arrest new suspect in murder of journalist Peter R. de Vries
A new suspect was arrested for the alleged involvement in the murder of Dutch investigative journalist Peter R. de Vries. The 30-year-old Polish man was arrested in Poland, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (OM) announced.
He is accused of helping to prepare the attack while he lived in Rotterdam. “The suspect was arrested by the Polish police at the request of the Netherlands,” the OM said.
Prosecutors have requested his extradition to the Netherlands. He is at least the seventh person arrested over the reporter’s assassination, and the third suspect known to be from Poland.
First two arrests after the murder
The first two suspects in the case, Delano G. and Kamil E., were arrested shortly after De Vries was shot in the head. It happened on 6 July 2021 after a recording of RTL Boulevard in Leidseplein in Amsterdam. De Vries was gunned down while walking to his car on Lange Leidsedwarsstraat in the city center. He died nine days later in the hospital.
Prosecutors alleged that G., from Rotterdam, was the gunman, and E., from Poland, was the getaway driver. The trial against them was drawing to a close in Amsterdam, when more arrests were suddenly announced. It started with the new disclosure of a witness who had inside knowledge about the planning of the attack.
Three arrests were announced soon after. The first was a 27-years old from Poland, accused of orchestrating the attack, then two other suspects were arrested on 4 July 2022 in Spain and Curaçao for allegedly taking part in the crime. Those three suspects are being tried separately from G. and E. Their first hearing is expected to take place in three weeks.
Additionally, a man who was arrested at the end of July in Helmond is still considered a suspect. However, he was later released from jail while police continued the investigation into his alleged role in the crime.
Case may be tried again
A new hearing into the case of G. and E. was expected to happen on 3 November. There is a possibility that the case will have to be retried even though closing arguments were already submitted. The new arrests caused the judges to delay rendering a verdict, and then one of the judges, the youngest on the panel, stopped working at the court as planned and moved out of the Netherlands.
Prosecutors demanded a life sentence against G. and E., though the two denied involvement in the murder. However E.’s lawyers were angry to later learn that E.’s jail cell had been bugged while authorities investigated the new suspects.
Link to organized crime
Authorities have made it clear they believe the assassination of De Vries was linked to alleged organized crime boss Ridouan Taghi. He is among several defendants in a case known as the Marengo Process, which involves multiple assassinations, attempted killings, and murder-for-hire plots. The key witness in that case was Nabil B.
De Vries was assisting B. as a consultant. Earlier, Nabil B.’s own attorney, Derk Wiersum, was also shot dead.