6th suspect held in investigation of Dutch reporter’s death

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Police investigating the slaying of prominent Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries have arrested another suspect in the Netherlands, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The arrest of a 27-year-old man Tuesday night in the southern city of Helmond brings to six the number of people detained on suspicion of direct or indirect involvement in De Vries’ killing just over a year ago.

Prosecutors said in a statement that the man, whose name was not released in line with Dutch privacy guidelines, was suspected of taking part in a criminal organization that was paid to carry out violent attacks.

De Vries was shot at close range on a downtown Amsterdam street on July 6, 2021, shortly after he appeared on a Dutch current affairs television show. The campaigning reporter and television personality died of his injuries nine days later at age 64.

Two suspects were arrested less than an hour after the shooting on a highway near The Hague. Prosecutors have said the weapon used to shoot De Vries was found in the men’s car and asked judges to convict the two of murder and sentence them both to life imprisonment.

Developments in the ongoing investigation into who ordered De Vries killed, including the arrests earlier this month of three other suspects, have delayed the verdicts in the pair’s trial.

Prosecutors haven’t publicly identified whom they believe gave the order to kill the reporter.

Before his shooting, De Vries served as an adviser and confidant to a witness in the trial of the alleged leader and other members of a crime gang that police described as an “oiled killing machine.” The witness’ brother and his lawyer were killed.

The suspected gangland leader, Ridouan Taghi, was extradited to the Netherlands from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2019 and is currently in custody awaiting verdicts in his murder trial. He hasn’t been charged in De Vries’ killing.

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