Ninth person suspected of Peter R. de Vries murder to be arrested "soon"
The Public Prosecution Service announced on Friday that it expects a new arrest in the murder case of Peter R. de Vries. This will likely take place “in the short term.” It will bring the number of suspects in this case to nine.
During a hearing on the case in Amsterdam on Friday, another suspect, Ludgardo S., denied any involvement in the crime reporter’s murder. The 34-year-old suspect appeared in court for the first time in connection with the large criminal trial surrounding the homicide. S. was arrested in Tilburg at the end of January. The Public Prosecution Service (OM) alleged he had a role in provoking the murder with terrorist intent. He was also accused of participation in the criminal organization tied to the high-profile murder.
The OM said that S. gave direction and orders to the two men who are accused of shooting videos of the aftermath right after the gunshots took place. Immediately after Peter R. de Vries was shot on Lange Leidsedwarsstraat in the Amsterdam city center, images of him lying unconscious and seriously injured on the street circulated en masse on social media.
Prior to the attack, S. also carried out reconnaissance around the RTL Boulevard studio together with two co-suspects. De Vries was killed moments after walking out of the studio. The OM thinks it can prove this with camera images where S. can be seen, and with recorded conversations in which he allegedly spoke about the attack. The OM also said that there were relevant search terms found on his telephone.
For example, searches were used terms like, “RTL Boulevard address” and about De Vries’s connection to Nabil B., the prosecution’s key witness in Marengo trial. The case is connected to multiple assassinations and attempted killings. The many defendants in the case include suspected organized crime lord Ridouan Taghi and his right-hand man, Saïd R. The message on Ludgardo S.’s phone asked, “What is going on between Peter and the kroongetuige?” using the official Dutch word for a key witness who cut a deal with the OM.
S. himself did not speak on Friday morning. His attorney denied the allegations on his behalf. “The client strongly disputes that he was involved in the attack on De Vries,” said his lawyer.
De Vries, 64, was shot on July 6, 2021 on the Lange Leidsedwarsstraat near Leidseplein. He died from his injuries nine days later. The two men who allegedly carried out the assassination attempt, Kamil E. (37) and Delano G. (23), were caught almost immediately afterwards. Prosecutors initially demanded a conviction and life sentence against them, at trial, but the criminal procedure was forced to start over from the beginning when the OM revealed statements from a new witness.
That also coincided with the arrests of more suspects in the case.
Reporting by ANP