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Amsterdam court sentences murderers of journalist De Vries

June 12, 2024

Peter R. de Vries, a crime journalist, was shot in the city center in Amsterdam in 2021. Now, three men were sentenced to up to 28 years in prison for their role in his murder.

A police car waits outside the court in Amsterdam
Peter de Vries was shot in the head after leaving the television studio of RTL Boulevard in the capital where he had appeared as a guestImage: Peter Dejong/ASSOCIATED PRESS/picture alliance

A Dutch court on Wednesday handed down sentences over the 2021 assassination of crime journalist Peter R. de Vries.

De Vries was gunned down in broad daylight on a busy Amsterdam street on July 6, 2021. De Vries died nine days later. He was 64.

Three main suspects were convicted, with two of them sentenced to 28 years in prison and one to 26 years.

Prosecutors had sought life sentences for the man charged with shooting De Vries, the alleged getaway driver and a man suspected of organizing the assassination.

However, the court said life sentences could not be handed down "because it concerns a single murder and they have not previously been convicted for similar crimes."

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

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

A banner of Peter de Vries
De Vries' murder sparked an outpouring of grief and outrage throughout the NetherlandsImage: Barbara Wesel/DW

'Attack on rule of law,' says king

The shooting brought scrutiny to the country's drug gang underworld, with cracks exposed in the Dutch legal system.

The killing sparked outrage and an outpouring of grief across the Netherlands. Dutch King Willem-Alexander said the slaying was "an attack on journalism, the cornerstone of our constitutional state and therefore also an attack on the rule of law."

De Vries had been an adviser and confidant for a protected witness in the trial of the alleged leader of a criminal outfit. The witness' brother and lawyer were both murdered.

jsi/kb (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)