Dutch Crime Journalist Dies After Being Shot in Head in Amsterdam

Peter R. de Vries, one of the Netherlands’ best known crime reporters, was shot in the head last week in downtown Amsterdam.

As de Vries was left fighting for his life in a hospital, police detained three suspects, “including a possible shooter”.

Prominent Dutch journalist Peter R. de Vries has died after sustaining a fatal wound last week, RTL News reported on Thursday.

"Peter fought to the end, but was unable to win the battle. He died surrounded by the people who love him", his relatives said in a joint statement, shared by the news outlet.

The crime journalist, who received much praise for his fearless reporting on the Dutch underworld, had been admitted to a hospital with grave injuries after being shot in the head last week. He was attacked after making one of his regular appearances on a television show.

Police have arrested a total of three suspects, including the potential shooter. There was no immediate word on a motive.

De Vries had long been deemed a possible target of the criminals he reported on. In 2019, the journalist said that he was "on the death list" of suspected organised crime boss Ridouan Taghi, who was extradited to the Netherlands from Dubai later that year. He is currently in a maximum-security prison in Vught, a town in the southern Netherlands, while he stands trial along with 16 other suspects. Taghi rejected the claims, insisting that the authorities and the judiciary system were "lying".

Last week, police and prosecutors declined to comment on whether the crime reporter received police protection.

The shooting was described as "shocking and incomprehensible" by caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

"An attack on a courageous journalist and also an attack on the free journalism that is so essential for our democracy, our constitutional state, our society", Rutte added.

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