Report criticizes Dutch protection system after 3 slayings

Feb 28, 2023, 2:30 PM | Updated: Mar 1, 2023, 4:42 am
FILE - Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries looks on, prior to attending a live TV show in Amster...

FILE - Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries looks on, prior to attending a live TV show in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Thursday Jan. 31, 2008. A critical report into three murders, including the brazen slaying of a celebrated Dutch journalist in downtown Amsterdam, said Wednesday, March 1, 2023, that security services in a “fragmented” protection system did not always act on tips about possible threats to the victims. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

(AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A critical report into the protection of three murder victims, including a celebrated Dutch journalist gunned down in central Amsterdam, said Wednesday that security services in a “fragmented” protection system didn’t always act on tips about possible threats.

The conclusions highlighted flaws in a network involving police and prosecutors that is intended to offer protection to people facing threats ranging from stalkers to possible attacks by criminals and terrorists.

The report came following an 18-month government-commissioned investigation by the Dutch Safety Board into the slayings of crime reporter Peter R. de Vries, lawyer Derk Wiersum and the brother of a key witness in the trial of an alleged Dutch crime gang.

De Vries, who was shot on an Amsterdam street on July 21, 2021, and died nine days later acted as a confidential advisor to the witness. Wiersum, the witness’ lawyer, was gunned down on Sept. 18, 2019, outside his home in Amsterdam. The witness’ brother, identified only Reduan, was shot and killed March 29, 2018.

The witness played a key role in the prosecution of Ridouan Taghi, who is accused by prosecutors of multiple murders in the violent Dutch criminal underworld. Judges are expected to deliver verdicts later this year in the trial of Taghi and several alleged accomplices.

The report said that “command of the surveillance and protection of the persons under threat was fragmented across national and regional organisations” and the protection service “did not receive all the information about the threat that was available to the investigation.”

It added that “signals” of possible threats from the victims “were not regarded as concrete threat information and therefore did not fit into the usual system.”

Both Wiersum and De Vries had police surveillance at their homes. De Vries “was not willing to share his schedule to make it possible to organize surveillance for his arrivals and departures. He also made no use of the option to personally notify any high-risk moments,” the report said.

The brother of the witness “insisted on protection for members of his family. When the attack on his life took place, no specific security measures had yet been taken for him,” it added.

Justice Minister Dilan Yesilgöz-Zegerius said in a reaction to the report that the government has made investments to beef up the security apparatus in recent years.

“The increased threat, specifically from organized crime, means that the number of people and objects that are intensively monitored and secured for a long period of time — sometimes even many years — has increased considerably,” she said in a statement.

Yesilgöz-Zegerius said that “the person to be protected is now more central, and tailor-made security measures are being developed.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - This Sept. 2015, photo provided by NOAA Fisheries shows an aerial view of adult female South...
Associated Press

Researchers: Inbreeding a big problem for endangered orcas

People have taken many steps in recent decades to help the Pacific Northwest's endangered killer whales, which have long suffered from starvation, pollution and the legacy of having many of their number captured for display in marine parks.
14 hours ago
FILE - Hiring signs are displayed at a grocery store in Arlington Heights, Ill., Jan. 13, 2023. Emp...
Associated Press

Pay transparency is spreading. Here’s what you need to know

U.S. employers are increasingly posting salary ranges for job openings, even in states where it’s not required by law, according to analysts with several major job search websites.
14 hours ago
Meadowdale High School 9th grade students Juanangel Avila, right, and Legacy Marshall, left, work t...
David Klepper and Manuel Valdes, Associated Press

Seattle high school teacher advocates for better digital literacy in schools

Shawn Lee, a high school social studies teacher in Seattle, wants to see lessons on internet akin to a kind of 21st century driver's education, an essential for modern life.
14 hours ago
South Carolina Senators hear from the parents of people who died from fentanyl overdose on Jan. 19,...
Associated Press

With overdoses up, states look at harsher fentanyl penalties

State lawmakers nationwide are responding to the deadliest overdose crisis in U.S. history by pushing harsher penalties for possessing fentanyl and other powerful lab-made opioids that are connected to about 70,000 deaths a year.
14 hours ago
FILE - In this July 3, 2014, file photo, the Microsoft Corp. logo is displayed outside the Microsof...
Associated Press

Microsoft adds AI tools to Office apps like Outlook, Word

Microsoft is infusing artificial intelligence tools into its Office software, including Word, Excel and Outlook emails.
4 days ago
FILE - This photo provided by the Alaska Volcano Observatory/U.S. Geological Survey shows the Tanag...
Associated Press

Alaska volcanoes now pose lower threat, after quakes slow

Diminished earthquake activity led authorities Thursday to reduce the warning levels at two volcanoes on an uninhabited island in Alaska’s Aleutian chain because of the decreased potential for eruptions.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!
safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Report criticizes Dutch protection system after 3 slayings