Alleged killers of Dutch crime reporter in court

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Two men appeared in court for the first time on Monday accused of murdering the Netherlands’ best-known crime reporter in broad daylight on an Amsterdam street.

Delano G., 21, is accused of shooting journalist Peter R. de Vries in July while Polish national Kamil E., 35, allegedly drove the getaway car and carried out surveillance.

The murder of de Vries, 64, who was an advisor to a witness in a major drugs trial and gunned down as he left a TV studio, stunned the Netherlands and sparked condemnation across Europe.

Kamil E. told the preliminary hearing at an Amsterdam court that he was innocent.

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“I didn’t kill anyone, I knew nothing about the murder, I didn’t see a weapon,” Kamil E. told the court through a Polish interpreter.

Delano G. told the court he did not wish to speak.

Public prosecutors said there was an extensive trail of evidence proving their guilt including CCTV camera footage, witness statements, phone records and DNA.

Four shell casings found at the scene were believed to have come from a pistol found in the car with Delano G.’s DNA on it.

Prosecutors also said a man matching Kamil E.’s description had been seen carrying out surveillance on a car park used by de Vries two weeks before the killing.

They said Kamil E. claimed to have an alibi with his girlfriend in the southern city of Maastricht for that day but phone records showed no sign of him in the area.

De Vries died in hospital nine days after the shooting.

Freedom of the press is under threat in a number of countries around the world, observers argue.

Two journalists, Maria Ressa and Dmitry Andreyevich Muratov, have recently won the Nobel Peace Prize, for their reporting on authoritarian regimes. 

Muratov is one of the founders of the independant Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, and Ressa is the co-founder of investigative news outlet Rappler.

Source i24

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