2 suspects face courtroom over taking pictures of Dutch journalist

Two males arrested over the taking pictures of Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries, who’s preventing for his life in an Amsterdam hospital, will seem in courtroom later this week, police stated Wednesday.

De Vries, a star reporter who had obtained a number of threats for his work overlaying the legal underworld, was shot 5 occasions, together with as soon as within the head, after leaving broadcaster RTL’s Amsterdam studio following a TV look on Tuesday night, in line with native media studies.

The taking pictures prompted shock and condemnation throughout Europe. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte known as the assault “stunning and incomprehensible.” He stated throughout a press convention that the tried assassination “was an assault on a brave journalist and in addition an assault on the free press that’s so important to our democracy.”

European Council President Charles Michel declared: “It is a crime in opposition to journalism and an assault on our values of democracy and rule of regulation. We are going to relentlessly proceed to defend the liberty of the press.”

Police stated Wednesday {that a} 35-year-old Pole and 21-year-old from Rotterdam, arrested in a automotive on the A4 motorway close to Leidschendam the night time earlier than, had been suspected of direct involvement within the taking pictures and can be arraigned on Friday. A 3rd particular person, who had been arrested in Amsterdam, was now not a suspect.

Police stated additionally they searched properties in a number of areas in a single day, seizing ammunition and information storage units.

Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema stated Tuesday night that de Vries was “significantly wounded and is preventing for his life.”

She described him as a “nationwide hero” who stood up for folks in want and saved investigators on their toes. The taking pictures was a “brutal, cowardly assault,” she stated.

Excessive-profile reporter

De Vries is without doubt one of the Netherlands’ most high-profile journalists and infrequently seems on TV. He made his title within the early Nineteen Eighties writing about Amsterdam’s underworld and the kidnapping of beer magnate Freddy Heineken. In 2013, Heineken’s kidnapper, Willem Holleeder, was convicted of creating threats in opposition to de Vries.

The 64-year-old journalist reached a brand new degree of fame along with his personal TV program, which coated many high-profile legal instances and aired from 1995 and 2012.

De Vries gained worldwide consideration in 2008 by recording an obvious confession of a person who, in a automotive filled with hidden cameras, confessed to having a task within the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, an American teenager who disappeared on the Caribbean island of Aruba in 2005.

The present was watched by 7 million viewers within the Netherlands — making it one of the crucial in style non-sports packages in Dutch tv historical past — and gained de Vries an Emmy.

His completely different roles in legal instances — as a journalist, commentator, in addition to spokesperson for victims’ households — has earned him common criticism.

Most just lately, de Vries was appearing as an adviser to a person recognized publicly solely as Nabil B. — a key prosecution witness in a trial involving alleged drug kingpin Ridouan Taghi. De Vries and Nabil B.’s attorneys had been believed to be on a legal underworld hit record due to their participation within the trial, in line with the Nationwide Coordinator for Safety and Counterterrorism.

A earlier lawyer for Nabil B., Derk Wiersum, was gunned down in entrance of his Amsterdam residence in 2019, sending shockwaves via the nation. A 12 months earlier, Nabil B.’s brother Reduan was additionally killed.

But regardless of the potential threats to his life, de Vries had refused safety safety, in line with Dutch media.

Kees van der Spek, a journalist and shut pal of de Vries, recalled a current dialog with de Vries for a podcast through which his fearlessness shone via.

“The final time he was afraid was when he needed to go residence [as a child] with a nasty faculty report,” he stated. “That characterised him. Moderately die upright than dwell on my knees, that was his motto,” van der Spek stated.

In a brief assertion on behalf of de Vries’ household, his son, Royce De Vries, stated on Twitter: “Yesterday, our worst nightmare grew to become actuality. We as a household encompass Peter with love and hope throughout this tough section.” He added that a lot continues to be unsure and thanked folks for his or her messages of assist.

A number of European journalists have been the targets of violent — and generally lethal — assaults lately.

In April this 12 months, a veteran Greek crime reporter, George Karaivaz, was shot and killed close to his residence in Athens by a gunman who opened fireplace from a bike.

In 2018, Slovakian investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his finacée Martina Kušnírová had been shot useless at their residence. Final month, Slovakia’s Supreme Courtroom overturned the acquittal of a businessman accused of masterminding the murders.

In 2017, Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who had investigated crime and corruption within the highest echelons of presidency and society, was killed by a automotive bomb.

Tom Gibson, the European Union consultant of the Committee to Shield Journalists, stated the Dutch authorities ought to decide whether or not de Vries was focused for his work “and be sure that the attacker and the masterminds of the assault face justice.”

He added: “Journalists within the EU should have the ability to examine crime and corruption with out fearing for his or her security.”

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