Group suspected of killing Dutch crime reporter also wanted to kidnap PM Mark Rutte, witness says

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The group suspected of murdering a crime reporter in the Netherlands in 2021 also wanted to kidnap Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, according to a witness in the case.

Peter R. de Vries, an award-winning Dutch journalist, was gunned down on a busy street in central Amsterdam in July 2021, in a case that rocked the Netherlands. The journalist was shot shortly after leaving the RTL TV studios, where he frequently appeared on air as a criminal expert. He died in hospital nine days later.

The Amsterdam-based newspaper Het Parool was the first to report on the witness’ comments regarding the potential threat to outgoing Prime Minister Rutte.

The witness was told the information by a 28-year-old man known as “Krystian M.,” who is suspected of coordinating the fatal attack against de Vries and directing the other perpetrators, the prosecution service said.

De Vries was known for his investigative work exposing the criminal underworld. He was a household name in the Netherlands, renowned for pursuing cold cases, exposing miscarriages of justice and hosting his own televised investigative show for nearly two decades. He had regularly received death threats in connection with several cases.

The trial against nine suspects in the murder of de Vries will start on January 23, according to the prosecution service. The prosecution will present its sentencing demand on January 30 and 31.

The court is expected to deliver its verdict in June 2024. The nine suspects, of Polish and Antillean descent, are between 24 and 37 years old, the prosecution service said.

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