Trial of Dutch Journalist Murderer Begins

The trial of two men charged with murdering Dutch criminal reporter Peter R. de Vries begins Monday (18/10).

De Vries was shot on July 6 this year on a street in central Amsterdam after his regular appearance on Dutch television shows. He died nine days later.

Dutch police said the suspected killer was a 21-year-old Dutch man. In his action, he was assisted by a 35-year-old Polish man who was accused of serving as a driver when they fled. They were both arrested shortly after carrying out their action.

Monday’s preliminary hearing at the Amsterdam District Court will not evaluate the evidence in the case, but is expected to hear a summary of the investigation so far and a possible request for further investigation from the suspect’s lawyer.

The shooting has sparked outrage and condemnation in the Netherlands. Thousands of people lined up outside the Amsterdam theater to pay their last respects to De Vries days after his death.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the shooting an attack on the brave journalist as well as an attack on the free journalism that is so vital to democracy, the constitutional state and society.

De Vries is one of the most famous journalists in the Netherlands. He wrote many reports on crimes.

The book resulting from his investigative report on the kidnapping of beer magnate Freddy Heineken in 1983 is listed as one of the best-selling journalistic works. De Vries was also notorious for trying to crack old criminal cases that had been frozen, and clearing the names of people who had been wrongfully convicted. [ab/ka]

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