Evidence linking new suspect to journalist's assassination detailed in trial restart
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) believes that there is an abundant amount of evidence proving that 30-year-old Polish man Konrad W. was involved in the murder of journalist Peter R. de Vries. His DNA was found on the weapon used in the murder, and in the car used by the two suspected perpetratorsthe OM said. The Public Prosecution Service explained their allegations in detail during an introductory session against the six suspects in the controversial murder case, which essentially restarted on Friday.
In October 2021, Konrad W. came into the picture as detectives pressed ahead with the investigation. He likely returned to his homeland at the end of that year. Police in Poland tracked him down at the request of the Netherlands, and arrested him on September 26 last year. He was handed over to the Netherlands on October 12, and on Friday he had to appear in court for the first time during the public hearing in Amsterdam.
According to the OM, he is complicit in the murder. W. was allegedly involved in the delivery of firearms, a getaway car and a bottle of petrol to set the vehicle on fire after the murder. The man did not want to testify, and invoked his right to remain silent.
Peter R. de Vries was 64 years of age when he was shot on July 6, 2021 on the Lange Leidsedwarsstraat in the center of Amsterdam. He died nine days later. The two men accused of carrying out the assassination attempt, 36-year-old Kamil E. from Poland and 23-year-old Delano G. from Rotterdam, were caught soon after the assassination attempt. Last summer, the police arrested another four suspects, three of whom are still in custody. Among them is Krystian M. (27), who is said to have orchestrated the apparent contract killing.
M. and W. are said to belong to a group of Polish people who are guilty of committing serious crimes. At the time of his arrest, M. was already in jail for a failed assassination attempt in Zeewolde. He too is remaining silent. In the courtroom, he wore a face mask and hid under the hood of a sweatshirt.
Last year, the Public Prosecution Service demanded life imprisonment against G., who is suspected of pulling the trigger, and E., who is accused of driving the getaway car. The court was forced to postpone the verdict at the last minute and reopen the proceedings into the two after the Public Prosecution Service produced a new witness.
This witness, numbered 5089, claims to be a friend of Krystian M. and reportedly made numerous explosive statements during interrogations. He was extensively questioned last month and those interrogations will continue this month. His statements suggested that Ridouan Taghi should be seen as the person who commissioned the murder of De Vries. Taghi's attorney previously rejected this accusation.
During the delay caused by postponing the verdict, one of the judges on the panel pressed forward with plans to leave their job and relocate abroad. The situation required the court to order a mistrial. Last year, the court also decided to handle the cases against the two known suspects and the four new suspects all in one trial. It is not yet known when the substantive hearings in the trial will begin.
Reporting by ANP