The nine men suspected of involvement in the murder of crime journalist Peter R. de Vries remain completely silent. Today the substantive hearing of the trial started again in Amsterdam. The suspects did not want to answer any questions.
There was no further clarification about the murder of De Vries. “We would have been surprised if the suspects had made extensive statements,” says Annemiek van Spanje, lawyer for the relatives of Peter R. de Vries. “But the carelessness and nonchalance with which they invoked their right to remain silent did something to the family.”
“I invoke my right to remain silent,” Delano G., the suspected shooter, said at the start of the hearing. Like others, he announced that he would not say a word during the rest of the trial.
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) holds several suspects responsible for complicity in the murder of De Vries in July 2021. Among them are the suspected shooter, driver and organizer.
Most men are also suspected of participating in a criminal organization with the aim of committing terrorist crimes. The Public Prosecution Service considers the attack on De Vries a terrorist act, because the intention was to instill fear in society.
A few refuted the accusations, such as Erickson O. According to the Public Prosecution Service, he was a lookout during the attack. “I am not guilty of the murder of Peter R. de Vries,” he said. “I didn’t know who he was or that he was a well-known person. I didn’t work with anyone or pass on any information about him, where he was or where he was going. I didn’t film him after he was shot, nor did I images distributed.”
The court today presented, among other things, photos and telephone messages, which allegedly showed that some suspects were preparing for the murder. “I’m not going to answer any questions,” Ludgardo S. responded.
On camera images, the Polish Kamil E. appears to be doing preliminary reconnaissance in the city center of Amsterdam, at the place where De Vries was shot. The images were played in the courtroom, but the Polish suspect did not want to say anything about it. “Right to remain silent.”
Gerower M. and Erickson O. also did not want to say why they were in Amsterdam. “Right to remain silent.” According to the police, Krystian M. prepared a stolen car shortly before the attack and Konrad W. and Kamil E. collected weapons. “Right to remain silent.” About their DNA traces in the stolen car: “Right to remain silent.”
The suspects also refused to provide explanations for telephone messages from July 6, 2021, the day of the attack. There are explicit messages such as “You must have this dog” (with a photo of Peter R. de Vries) and “Bang through his head”. Afterwards it is assured that the attack was successful. Delano G.: “Right to remain silent.” The suspected sender Krystian M. also continued to refuse further explanation.
This is the second time the trial has been conducted. The Public Prosecution Service already demanded this in 2022 lifetime against Delano G. and Kamil E. for their role in the murder. Shortly afterwards, the investigation gained momentum and the police were able to arrest new suspects. Because one of the judges had emigrated, the case could not continue and the trial had to be over.
It was once again a difficult day for the relatives of Peter R. de Vries, says their lawyer Annemiek van Spanje. “It was difficult for the family to hear all the facts again. The video images were also intense, especially the video of Peter lying on the ground.”
Right to speak
Tomorrow, the son and daughter of Peter R. de Vries, who were present in the courtroom today, will show a video of their previously expressed victim statement. Their father was shot on July 6, 2021 as he walked from the RTL Boulevard studio to a parking garage in the city center of Amsterdam. Peter R. de Vries died nine days later.
The Public Prosecution Service believes he was murdered because he helped the key witness in the Marengo trial against Ridouan Taghi. In an overheard conversation, one of the suspects says that the order for the murder came from Taghi and that he received a “nice amount” for his contribution. His response: “Right to remain silent.”
The post first appeared on nos.nl