Dutch journalist De Vries shot dead in Amsterdam street – police
AMSTERDAM, July 6 (Reuters) – Famous criminal journalist Peter R. de Vries, known for his work in denouncing the Dutch underworld, was seriously wounded in an Amsterdam street, police said on Tuesday.
“Peter R. de Vries was shot dead in the Lange Leidsedwarsstraat,” police said in a statement, referring to a street near one of the city’s largest public squares, where he was in a studio in television earlier in the evening.
He was taken to a nearby hospital in “serious condition,” police said, calling for eyewitnesses to come forward.
Police cordoned off the area as crowds gathered near the site where the incident occurred.
De Vries won an International Emmy Award in the Current Affairs category in 2008 for her work on the disappearance of teenage Natalee Holloway in Aruba in 2005.
A suspected gunman was arrested soon after, the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper reported, citing anonymous sources. Police said they could neither confirm nor deny this report, but expected to update the public later on Tuesday evening.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte was due to make a statement after meeting with key law enforcement officials following the shooting, the ANP news agency reported.
Dutch TV station RTL said De Vries had just left his studio in downtown Amsterdam and one of the shots hit him in the head.
Amsterdam’s Parool newspaper published a picture of the scene with several people gathered around a person lying on the ground.
De Vries, 64, is a celebrity in the Netherlands, as a frequent crime commentator and crime reporter with sources both in law enforcement and in the underworld. .
De Vries is known in the Netherlands for his investigative work on countless cases, most notably following the 1983 kidnapping of beer mogul Freddy Heineken.
De Vries has been the victim of underworld threats in the past in connection with several cases.
In 2013, Willem Holleeder, the kidnapper of Heineken, was convicted of making threats against De Vries. Holleeder is currently serving a life sentence for his involvement in five murders.
In 2019, Ridouan Taghi, currently on trial for murder and drug trafficking, took the unusual step of making a public statement denying reports that he threatened to have De Vries killed.
De Vries acted as an adviser, but not as an attorney, to a state witness identified as Nabil B. testifying in the case against Taghi and his alleged associates.
Nabil B.’s former lawyer was shot dead in an Amsterdam street in September 2019.
Reporting by Toby Sterling Editing by Nick Macfie and Alistair Bell
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