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Murders of Lawyer, Journalist Spark Requires Crackdown on Organized Crime in Netherlands

The murders of a Dutch lawyer who represented a witness in a high-profile prison case in opposition to suspected gangland bosses and a well known Dutch crime reporter sparked requires a more durable crackdown on organized crime within the Netherlands.

Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus referred to as the homicide of journalist Peter R. de Vries an assault on Dutch society, saying: “Organized crime has crossed a line.”

De Vries was appearing as a confidante to the identical witness that 44-year-old lawyer Derek Wiersum had been representing within the prison case, and each circumstances got here as main shocks to the nation and elevated requires an finish to organized crime.

Wiersum was murdered in 2019, and de Vries in July of this yr. The caretaker of the Dutch authorities pledged to spend extra on tackling organized crime rooted within the nation’s underworld medication trade.

For extra reporting from the Related Press, see under.

The murders of a outstanding Dutch crime reporter and a Dutch lawyer have sparked requires a crackdown on organized crime. Above, flowers are seen on the Lange Leidse Dwarsstraat, the place de Vries was shot on July 8, 2021, in Amsterdam.
Patrick van Katwijk/BSR Company/Getty Pictures

Two males have been convicted Monday and sentenced to 30 years in jail for Wiersum’s homicide.

Wiersum was gunned down on September 18, 2019, outdoors his dwelling in Amsterdam by a person who then fled in a getaway automotive that was ready close by. Police discovered DNA traces of each defendants within the getaway automotive and different automobiles used within the days earlier than the taking pictures to observe Wiersum’s actions.

“With their brutal act, the boys have proven a whole lack of respect for the lifetime of one other,” Amsterdam District Courtroom mentioned in a abstract of the written verdicts. “Solely for cash, they took Wiersum’s life and inflicted immense and irreparable struggling on his spouse, youngsters, dad and mom and different family.”

Prosecutors mentioned that cell phone knowledge additionally confirmed that each males have been within the space on the time of the killing and “their involvement is proven in tapped conversations after the homicide.” Legal professionals for each males, who’ve been recognized by Dutch media solely as Giërmo B. and Moreno B. in keeping with privateness laws, had referred to as for his or her acquittal.

The courtroom mentioned that whereas it was unclear who fired the deadly pictures and who drove the getaway automotive, each males could possibly be convicted of homicide as a result of “the actions of each suspects present that they have been collectively out to kill Wiersum.”

The lawyer represented a witness recognized solely as Nabil B. in a high-profile prison case in opposition to suspected gangland bosses accused of involvement in a string of underworld killings. The principle suspects, together with alleged Dutch gangland boss Ridouan Taghi, are at the moment on trial in a long-running case on fees together with involvement in six murders and 4 tried murders. Nabil B. was concerned in one of many slayings however lower a take care of prosecutors to supply proof in return for a lighter sentence.

Whereas the Amsterdam courtroom convicted each males as employed hit males within the Wiersum killing, it did not make a ruling on who contracted them to hold out the homicide.

De Vries, who was shot in Amsterdam on July 6 and died 9 days later, additionally acted as a confidante to the identical witness. The primary preliminary listening to within the trial of two males accused of involvement in de Vries’ slaying is scheduled for subsequent Monday.

Judges mentioned the homicide “brought on nice indignation, unrest and emotions of insecurity in society, as a result of a servant of the rule of legislation has been killed” and mentioned they thought-about it an aggravating issue when contemplating their sentence.

Dutch Lawyer Murder
Two males have been convicted and sentenced to 30 years for the homicide of a Dutch lawyer. Above, the lawyer’s physique is carried right into a hearse after he was shot in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on September 18, 2019.
Peter Dejong, File/AP Picture