The lawyer represented a witness identified only as Nabil B. in a high-profile criminal case against suspected gangland bosses accused of involvement in a string of underworld killings. The main suspects, including alleged Dutch gangland boss Ridouan Taghi, are currently on trial in a long-running case on charges including involvement in six murders and four attempted murders. Nabil B. was involved in one of the slayings but cut a deal with prosecutors to provide evidence in return for a lighter sentence.
While the Amsterdam court convicted both men as hired hit men in the Wiersum killing, it didn't make a ruling on who contracted them to carry out the murder.
Well-known Dutch crime reporter, Peter R. de Vries, who was shot in Amsterdam on July 6 and died nine days later, also acted as a confidante to the same witness. The first preliminary hearing in the trial of two men accused of involvement in De Vries’ slaying is scheduled for next Monday.
The murder sparked outrage in the Netherlands with Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus calling it an attack on Dutch society and saying: “Organized crime has crossed a line.”
In recent budget proposals for the coming year, the caretaker Dutch government pledged to spend more on tackling organized crime that is rooted in the country’s lucrative underworld drugs industry.
Judges said the murder “caused great indignation, unrest and feelings of insecurity in society, because a servant of the rule of law has been killed” and said they considered it an aggravating factor when considering their sentence.
FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019 file photo, forensic experts search for evidence in the area where a lawyer who represented a key witness in a major Dutch organized crime trial was gunned down in Amsterdam, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Two men were convicted Monday, Oct. 11, 2021 and sentenced to 30 years for the murder of a Dutch lawyer who represented a witness in a high-profile criminal case against suspected gangland bosses, a slaying that shocked the nation and sparked calls for a tougher crackdown on organized crime. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, file)
Credit: Peter Dejong
Credit: Peter Dejong