Trio gets at least 25 years for Dutch reporter’s murder

A Dutch court sentenced three men to lengthy jail terms for the murder of journalist Peter R. de Vries.

A Dutch court on Wednesday handed down lengthy jail sentences to three men for the murder of high-profile crime journalist Peter R. de Vries, a killing that shocked the country.

Two men received sentences of 28 years for shooting De Vries and driving the getaway car. Another got 26 years for his role in planning the murder.

De Vries was gunned down in broad daylight on a busy Amsterdam street in July 2021, sparking an outpouring of grief.

“The murder of Peter R. de Vries is a liquidation,” according to the high-security court in Amsterdam.

Prosecutors had demanded life sentences for the trio, identified as Dutchman Delano G., Kamil E. from Poland, and Krystian M.

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However, the court said there was “no room for life sentences… because it concerns a single murder and they have not previously been convicted for similar crimes.”

Krystian M., considered the organiser of the hit, “should be punished more severely than that of the two executors,” the court said.

They imposed a sentence of 30 years on him but this was reduced to 26 years because he had already served four years in jail.

The court convicted three other men for complicity in the murder, handing them sentences between 10 to 14 years.

Two men suspected of participating in a criminal group were acquitted. A ninth man on trial was acquitted of complicity but convicted on drug possession charges.

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A video showing De Vries seriously injured circulated after the attack. Partly because of this, prosecutors charged the suspects with “murder with terrorist intent.”

However the court ruled that although the Netherlands was “seriously shocked by the murder… that does not mean that there is also a terrorist aim.”


De Vries first shot to prominence as an intrepid crime reporter for the daily newspaper De Telegraaf — writing a best-selling book about the 1980s kidnapping of beer millionaire Freddy Heineken.

The book was later turned into a 2015 movie “Kidnapping Freddy Heineken”, starring Anthony Hopkins in the title role.

The celebrity journalist then moved into television, where he ran his own crime programme called “Peter R. de Vries, Crime Reporter”.

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De Vries won international renown in 2008 after winning an Emmy Award for his coverage of the disappearance of US citizen Natalee Holloway on the Caribbean island of Aruba.

Thousands of mourners filed past his coffin in Amsterdam following his killing, paying respect to a journalist described as a national hero.

From 2020, he was an advisor and confidant of Nabil B., the main prosecution witness in the case against Ridouan Taghi, described as the country’s most wanted criminal.

De Vries revealed in 2019 that authorities had informed him he was on a hit-list drawn up by Taghi, who in February received a life sentence over a series of murders committed by his gang.

Nabil B.’s brother Reduan was killed in 2018, and his lawyer Derk Wiersum was shot dead in 2019.

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Together with the assassination of De Vries, the three killings together sparked warnings that the country was becoming a “narco-state”.

The threat touched the top levels of Dutch society.

Crown Princess Amalia, the daughter of King Willem-Alexander, was forced to move to Spain for her studies due to fears of an attack from an organised crime group.

Both the royal and Prime Minister Mark Rutte were mentioned in messages by organised crime groups, raising fears of plans to kidnap or attack them.

– By: © Agence France-Presse

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