Two suspects remanded in custody over shooting of Dutch journalist

Pair are believed by prosecutors to be the gunman and getaway driver

Dutch crime reporter Peter R de Vries. Photograph: Remko de Waal/ANP/AFP via Getty

Dutch crime reporter Peter R de Vries. Photograph: Remko de Waal/ANP/AFP via Getty

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Two men, the alleged gunman and his getaway driver, have been remanded in custody by a court in Amsterdam in connection with Tuesday’s shooting of veteran crime journalist Peter R de Vries (64), who remained seriously ill in hospital on Friday.

An examining magistrate remanded the suspects, identified as Delano G (21) from Rotterdam, and Kamil E (35), a Polish national from Maurik, east of Rotterdam, in custody for a fortnight and said they should not be allowed any contact with the outside world, except for their lawyers.

The court heard the men were arrested just hours after De Vries was left for dead by an assailant who fired five shots, one of which hit him in the head, as he walked back to his car from the studios of broadcaster RTL. Prosecutors believe Delano G was the gunman.

As Friday’s court hearing took place, supporters of De Vries laid 4,000 white roses around a statue of a roaring lion in Dam Square in the heart of Amsterdam – saying they were concerned about “the structurally naive attitude of the government towards serious crime”.

A message with the flowers insisted the shooting was not simply an unpredictable “attack on freedom of the press” – but specifically and predictably linked to Ridouan Taghi (43), formerly the country’s most wanted criminal, who was extradited from Dubai in 2019.

On trial

Taghi is currently on trial in a high-security court complex known as “the bunker” in connection with a string of drug-related killings, including the shooting dead of lawyer Derk Wiersum (44), who represented Nabil B, a key prosecution witness in the case against him.

Following Mr Wiersum’s death, De Vries , who, although he’s not a lawyer, is involved in a legal practice with his son, Royce, became an “adviser” to Nabil B, whose brother was also shot dead in 2018 shortly after Nabil B first decided to give evidence.

The case, in which Taghi and 16 other Dutch-Moroccan defendants are charged in connection with six different murders, is known as the Marengo trial, the largest, most complex and most controversial in the country’s history.

Taghi’s lawyer, Inez Weski, issued a statement on Wednesday criticising “unsubstantiated” media reports of a link between the De Vies shooting and her client.

On Friday, De Telegraf newspaper, where De Vries began his career, said it had identified just such a link. It reported that Delano G is a cousin of Jaouad “Joey” W, the main suspect in a separate criminal case also linked to Taghi.

As De Vries’s family said his prognosis remained “uncertain”, a vigil was held at Amsterdam’s Westerkerk church on Friday evening, where the public were invited to light candles for his recovery.