Tapped conversation could tie journalist’s murder to alleged crime boss Taghi
Listening devices placed by police caught a conversation with one of the men suspected of involvement in the Peter R. de Vries killing. The bugs, possibly placed in a car, captured a suspect stating that alleged organized crime leader Ridouan Taghi ordered the murder of the investigative journalist, NRC reported. At the time, De Vries was assisting Nabil B., a key prosecution witness who alleged that Taghi and his underlings were responsible for multiple homicides and attempted murders.
The conversation police listened in on was by one of the three suspects who was later arrested for filming the attack on 6 July 2021 with intent to spread fear and undermine society. They are believed to be part of a murder conspiracy working with the suspect who organized the slaying, the person who allegedly shot De Vries, and the getaway driver.
The individual was interrogated by police the month following the shooting, NRC said. He was questioned again in January, at which time police placed the listening devices. An official police report states that Taghi’s name was mentioned phonetically by the suspect, who said that he sent orders to kill De Vries to “three groups,” a source with knowledge of the report told the newspaper.
Taghi’s attorney, Inez Weski, said she would not comment on the story, NRC said. She repeated her earlier assertion that Taghi has not been named as a suspect in the De Vries murder, and said she had no knowledge of the tapped conversation.
De Vries was shot while walking from the RTL Boulevard television studio on Leidseplein in Amsterdam to his car on Lange Leidsedwarstraat. He died nine days later. A timeline of events pieced together by investigators suggested the murder was first ordered a few months before it happened. The three men who are accused of filming the killing were spotted near the studio a month before De Vries was gunned down. They decided as a team not to move forward with the execution-style murder when one of them was arrested as a fugitive with an unserved jail sentence.
Prosecutors believe Delano G. from Rotterdam carried out the attack, with Kamil E., a Polish man, brought in as the getaway driver. Another Polish man, Krystian M., is believed to have orchestrated the killing, with a mobile phone and a new witness linking him to the others. M. was also investigated about the theft of vehicles used by those who killed Nabil B.’s attorney, Derk Wiersum.
M. was arrested in July as the trial of G. and E. was wrapping up, as were the three who allegedly filmed the incident. Another Polish man was also arrested in Poland this week in connection with preparing the attack, the Public Prosecution Service said. The new evidence and testimony led judges to delay delivery of a verdict in the G. and E. trial. One judge has since resigned and moved abroad, which could lead to a re-trial.
The expanding investigation into the conspiracy suggests that a third person drove with E. and G. from Rotterdam to Amsterdam before the shooting took place. It showed that the getaway car, a Renault Kadjar, left from a location in Rotterdam close to where two of those involved in the video departed in a Peugeot 208, NRC said. Those two spent time hanging out in the McDonald’s opposite the RTL Boulevard studio entrance, the newspaper reported.
Hearings in the case of Krystian M. and those involved in filming the murder are expected to take place in three weeks. A new hearing about a verdict or potential re-trial of Delano G. and Kamil E. will likely happen in November. Re-trying them could give prosecutors the opportunity to combine the cases, bring all suspects into court at once, and present allegations that they acted as part of a wider criminal conspiracy.