03 November 2022

Trial of man accused of killing journalist must restart after judge emigrates

03 November 2022

The trial of the alleged gunman and getaway driver in the murder of a prominent Dutch crime reporter must restart after one of the judges hearing the case emigrated, a court in Amsterdam has ruled.

It means a long delay in the case against two key suspects in last year’s shooting of journalist Peter R. de Vries in Amsterdam – a crime which prompted the government to announced a renewed crackdown on organised crime.

The trial – of alleged Dutch gunman Delano G, 23, and suspected getaway driver Kamil E, 36, from Poland – was almost done.

Prosecutors had called for life sentences.

But just days before judges were due to deliver their verdicts in July, prosecutors unusually filed new evidence, a move which reopened the case and forced the cancellation of the verdicts.

Now, with one of the three judges who assessed the evidence moving out of the Netherlands, a replacement judge must be appointed and the trial restarted.

Prosecutors accuse Delano G of shooting Mr De Vries at close range in a city centre street on July 6 2021. The campaigning reporter and television personality died of his injuries nine days later aged 64.

Police arrested the suspected gunman and getaway driver near The Hague soon after shooting. Since then, several more people have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in organising the hit.

While the motive for Mr de Vries’ shooting remains unknown, it bore the hallmarks of other gangland hits in the Dutch underworld the journalist covered.

Before his shooting, Mr De Vries was an adviser and confidant for a witness in the trial of the alleged leader and other members of a crime gang which police described as an “oiled killing machine”. The witness’s brother and lawyer were both murdered.

The gang’s suspected leader, Ridouan Taghi, was extradited to the Netherlands from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2019 and is currently awaiting verdicts in his trial on multiple counts of murder.

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