Dutch journalist Peter R. de Vries dies after shooting
The prolific Dutch crime reporter, Peter R. de Vries was pronounced dead on Thursday, falling victim to the wounds he suffered during a shooting last week.
Peter R. de Vries died surrounded by loved ones
De Vries was attacked near Leidseplein in Amsterdam on Tuesday, July 6, and had been fighting for his life in hospital ever since. RTL Nieuws broke the news on Thursday afternoon, saying the beloved 64-year-old journalist had died in hospital surrounded by his loved ones.
“Peter fought to the end, but was unable to win the battle,” his family said in a statement. “Peter has lived by his conviction: 'On bended knee is no way to be free'. We are immensely proud of him, and at the same time inconsolable.”
De Vries' long and successful career
De Vries’ career and his involvement in a number of high-profile criminal cases in the Netherlands meant he had faced several threats throughout his lifetime. He made a name for himself reporting on the kidnapping of Freddy Heineken in 1983, and hosted his own TV show for almost 17 years.
In 2008, De Vries won an Emmy award for his documentary about the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, a young American woman who vanished when on holiday in Ibiza. More recently, he used his foundation to start a fund to raise money for the case into the disappearance of Tanja Groen, who disappeared in Maastricht in 1993.
At the time of the attack, De Vries was working as a counsellor to a key witness in the Marengo trial against Ridouan Tahgi and 16 co-defendants. Taghi is on trial for his involvement in at least 10 murders related to organised crime, as well as for his involvement in drug trafficking and the leading of a criminal organisation. Taghi’s gang is widely believed to be behind the attack on De Vries’ life.
The Netherlands "deeply touched" by news of his passing
On Thursday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte responded to the news of De Vries’ death, saying “the whole of the Netherlands has been deeply touched” by his passing. The Prime Minister highlighted the work De Vries had done, saying he was “always in search of the truth and the breaches of justice, and therefore it is all the more dramatic that he himself has now become a victim of great injustice.”
Rutte emphasised that the attackers and their “cowardly act” would not go unpunished, a sentiment that was echoed by Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus who said this kind of crime must be fought: “We have to tackle these bastard criminals.”
Two suspects - Delano G and Kamil E - are currently in police custody. Delano is believed to be the shooter, while Kamil drove the getaway car. They were arrested in a car on the A4 near The Hague shortly after the attack.
Thumb via Amanda Weideman.