Peter R. de Vries succumbed to his serious injuries. The investigative journalist was gunned down in Amsterdam last week. The attack may have been related to his work.
The prominent Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries succumbed to his serious injuries just ten days after the attack on him. The family announced on Thursday in Amsterdam. The 64-year-old was gunned down on the street in Amsterdam on July 6 and was critically injured.
‘Peter fought to the last, but he lost the fight,’ said his family in a message published by RTL. De Vries was surrounded by loved ones when he died. Preparations for his funeral have not yet been made. ‘We are incredibly proud of him and at the same time extremely sad,’ the family continued.
Colleagues and politicians reacted with dismay to the death of the well-known reporter. Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke of an ‘incomprehensible’ news. The EU leaders and journalists’ associations also reacted shaken.
Netherlands shocked after the murder attempt on the journalist
A man had fired multiple shots at the reporter in the street when he was leaving a TV studio. The assassination shocked the Netherlands deeply and was also received with horror internationally. European Parliament President David Sassoli wrote on Twitter: ‘We will always remember his courage to expose organized crime and shed light on the darkest parts of our societies.’
After the shooting at de Vries last Tuesday, a 21-year-old from Rotterdam and a 35-year-old Polish citizen living in the Netherlands were arrested. A third man, who had also been arrested, was released. . The police had not yet commented on the background to the crime. However, there is much evidence that the murder is related to the reporter’s work.
Peter R. de Vries is said to have been on the hit list of a drug lord
De Vries is known for his role in high profile crime cases and as a spokesperson for crime victims. According to media reports, he was most recently the confidante of the most important key witness in a trial against the alleged drug lord Ridouan Taghi. The brother of the key witness and his defense lawyer had already been murdered in 2019. The reporter had also been threatened. But he had refused personal protection.
According to previous information from de Vries, he was on Taghi’s ‘hit list’. The drug lord is the most wanted criminal in the Netherlands, his organization is described by prosecutors as a ‘well-oiled killing machine’. The attack on the journalist had caused horror across the borders of the Netherlands.
De Vries was the leading crime reporter in the Netherlands for almost 30 years and has often appeared as a spokesperson for victims or witnesses at trials. He was a regular guest on TV talk shows. The reporter became internationally known in 1987 with his bestseller about the kidnapping of the brewer Freddy Heineken. In 2008 he won an Emmy Award for reporting on the Natalee Holloway case. The American disappeared in Aruba in 2005 and was believed to have been killed by a Dutchman.
The head of the Dutch Association of Journalists, Thomas Bruning, recently told the AFP news agency that he was ‘convinced that the attack had something to do with the advisory work that Mr de Vries was pursuing for the key witness in a large mafia case’. The trial, which opened in March, has been accompanied by strict security measures since a witness lawyer was shot dead in the street in 2019.
He brought ‘light into the darkness of criminal machinations’
The federal chairman of the German Association of Journalists, Frank Überall, described de Vries’ death as’ terrible ‘. ‘With Peter R. de Vries, journalism is losing a committed, courageous colleague who has shed light on criminal machinations and had to pay with his life for it,’ said the DJV boss. The investigative authorities would now have to “relentlessly” investigate the murder and “bring the perpetrators to their just punishment”.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) general secretary Christophe Deloire called de Vries’ murder a ‘new episode in a dark series (of journalist murders) in Europe’. Organized crime is a massive threat to journalism in the EU, he tweeted.