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Murdered Journalist Aided in Alleged Gang Leader's Trial

Family announces death of Peter R. de Vries, adviser to a witness in the trial of Ridouan Taghi
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 15, 2021 10:50 AM CDT
Murdered Journalist Aided in Alleged Gang Leader's Trial
Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries arrives for a live TV show in Amsterdam on Jan. 31, 2008.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

(Newser) – Peter R. de Vries, the renowned Dutch crime reporter shot last week in a brazen attack in Amsterdam, has died, Dutch media reported Thursday. "Peter fought to the end, but was unable to win the battle," RTL, the Dutch network that de Vries regularly worked for, cited a family statement as saying, per the AP. De Vries, 64, rose rapidly from a young cub reporter to become the Netherlands' best-known journalist. He was a pillar of support for families of slain or missing children, a campaigner against injustice, and a thorn in the side of gangsters in the Dutch capital's increasingly violent underworld. The statement, which requested privacy for De Vries' family and partner, said he died surrounded by loved ones. "Peter has lived by his conviction: 'On bended knee is no way to be free,'" the statement added. "We are unbelievably proud of him and at the same time inconsolable."

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De Vries was "always seeking the truth and standing up for justice," Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a tweet. "And that makes it all the more dramatic that he himself has now become the victim of a great injustice." The journalist was shot July 6 after making one of his regular appearances on a current affairs television show. He'd recently been an adviser and confidant for a witness in the trial of the alleged leader of a crime gang that police described as an "oiled killing machine." The suspected gangland leader, Ridouan Taghi, was extradited to the Netherlands from Dubai in 2019. He remains jailed while standing trial along with 16 other suspects. Two suspects have been detained in the shooting. Dutch police said the suspected shooter is a 21-year-old Dutchman, and a 35-year-old Polish man living in the Netherlands is accused of driving the getaway car.

(Read more Netherlands stories.)

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