Giermo B., one of the suspects in the murder of defense attorney Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam last year, has a long criminal record. He previously spent years in prison for two armed robberies and assaulting a prison employee, RTL Boulevard reports based on its own research.
The year 2019 was a busy one for the Netherlands, with elections and strikes, multiple high profile murders and shootings, and a summer full of heat records, severe storms and poisonous caterpillars. Here follows a review of the top ten stories of this year.
Police in the Netherlands announced the arrest of Ridouan Taghi on Monday. The 41-year-old wanted fugitive was taken into custody in Dubai, police said. The OM, the Dutch prosecution service, has requested the extradition of Taghi from Dubai.
Amsterdam is taking drastic measures in an attempt to cope with capacity problems at the police. A number of specialized police teams will be disbanded, so that more attention can be paid to basic police work, mayor Femke Halsema said in a letter to the city council.
Riduouan Taghi, considered the most wanted fugitive criminal in the Netherlands, is likely staying on Kish - an island in the Persian Gulf, an about two-hour boat ride from Dubai, the Telegraaf reports based on "multiple sources" within and outside the investigative services. The Netherlands has no extradition treaty with Kish.
In July the Telegraaf wrote that Taghi was "almost certainly" hiding in Dubai.
Amsterdam police investigating the murder of criminal defense attorney Derk Wiersum have arrested another man on suspicion of involvement in Wiersum's slaying. The suspect, identified by AD as a nephew of alleged crime boss Ridouan Taghi, is the third person police picked up this week as part of the case.
Police detained two persons of interest connected to the murder of criminal defense attorney Derk Wiersum. The arrests were announced on television show Opsporing Verzocht on Tuesday night.
The duo were taken into custody for their possible roles in fencing a stolen vehicle allegedly used to monitor Wiersum shortly before he was killed. They were questioned and released, police said.
Defense attorney Derk Wiersum was watched and followed by multiple cars weeks before he was murdered at his Amsterdam home on September 18th, the police said in a statement on Tuesday.
The government is allocating another 110 million euros for the fight against organized undermining crime, Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security announced on Monday morning. This amount will partly be used to form teams specialized in dismantling criminal networks, and partly to protect professional groups that deal with drug criminals, NU.nl reports.
Nearly 60 percent of lawyers in the Netherlands feel more unsafe since the murder of defense attorney Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam in September, trade journal Advocatenblad reports based on its own research among the professional group. 55 percent of respondents said that they sometimes feel unsafe, 4 percent said that they regularly worry about their safety.
Every new task given to the police puts a lot of other investigation work at risk, a group of mayors said in a letter to parliament. According to them, the fight against human trafficking and a range of other serious crimes is already coming under pressure, NOS reports.
Police in Amsterdam say they have a suspect in custody in connection with the murder of criminal defense attorney Derk Wiersum. The male suspect was apprehended on Tuesday evening at a home, authorities said in a statement.
Authorities released no details about the suspect's age, nationality, or his place of residence. Shortly after the incident, police said they were looking for a man between the ages of 16 and 20 years, wearing a hoodie, and dressed in black clothing.
The police believe that a white delivery van was used as a getaway car after the murder of lawyer Derk Wiersum outside his home on Imstenrade in Amsterdam. Witness statements and video footage showed a white vehicle "similar to a Fiat Doblo" driving away from the area immediately after Wiersum was gunned down on Sepember 18th, the police said on Sunday.
After the murder of defense attorney Derk Wiersum in front of his Amsterdam home last week, the city is offering extra security to a large number of people. Many also connected to the case around alleged drug gang leader Ridouan Taghi. This extra security is necessary, but comes at the expense of Amsterdam's police capacity, mayor Femke Halsema and Jan Pronker of the Amsterdam police said in a city council debate on Thursday.
The police want 445 extra police officers for a Narcotics Unit aimed at tackling organized crime, is stated in provisional plans from the judiciary and police that Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security is currently considering, AD reports.
The police are still no closer to catching the man who gunned down defense lawyer Derk Wiersum in front of his home in the Buitenveldert neighborhood of Amsterdam last week Wednesday. On Opsporing Verzocht on Tuesday, the police called on witnesses to come forward, especially people who noticed anything out of the ordinary in the neighborhood in the weeks before the shooting.
Fugitive Ridouan Taghi has been linked to two more murders, three attempted killings and ordering an attack on a spy shop in Nieuwegein, was revealed in a proforma hearing on Tuesday. The criminal group led by Taghi is now suspected of at least nine assassinations and a whole series of attempted murders and never executed murder plans, Het Parool reports.
After the murder of defense lawyer Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam last week, extra security measures were taken for dozens of people. These include judges and prosecutors involved in the case against Ridouan Taghi or related cases, sources told NOS.
A special anti-drug unit, based on the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will be established in the Netherlands, Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus announced on Thursday after the murder of defense lawyer Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam. But more than that will be needed in the fight against organized crime, Eirk Heijdelberg, director of Willem Schrikker Youth Protection, said to broadcaster NOS.
The fight against organized crime is complicated, but can be won, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on the second day of the parliamentary debate on the national budget. Ferdinand Grapperhaus agreed with Rutte’s standpoint. The Security and Justice Minister from the PM’s conservative VVD party backed a call from several politicians to form a specialized unit focused solely on tackling drug crime.
Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security is looking for more money to push into the fight against organized crime, he said on Thursday morning, one day after defense attorney Derk Wiersum was assassinated outside of his Amsterdam Home. "If we really want to achieve success over organized crime, we have to take an extra step", Grapperhaus said, Het Parool reports. "More than we have done so far, also if it means extra resources."
The Public Prosecution Service will keep using key witnesses, even after the murder of criminal law attorney Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam on Wednesday morning. "We must continue to use the means of key witnesses, otherwise we will get no further in criminal cases. Continue in a motivated way", prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said to Nieuwsuur. He wants more options in the use of such suspects-turned-informants.
Shots rang out on the Langbroekdreef in Amsterdam Zuidoost on Wednesday night, striking one person. The victim later died of their injuries, police said.
Authorities confirmed that a vehicle was shot at by two suspects who were sitting on a scooter at the time. They then fled the scene on the two-wheeler. After the gunshots, the car crashed into the front of a nearby firehouse.
Authorities investigating the murder of criminal defense attorney Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam have joined forces with Dutch counter-terrorism agency NCTV in the hunt for the perpetrator. Police are still searching for the suspect they believe to be responsible for the crime.