Crown witness: repair or in memoriam? (COLUMN)

- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img

Could it be that the history books will state that on Tuesday morning, March 14, 2023, just after ten o’clock, the wrecked carriage of the crown witness scheme actually came to a halt? The lawyers have filed the defense of Nabil B., it turned out. Crown witness Nabil B. is alone: ​​without a lawyer and without confidence and adequate security for his family from the Public Prosecution Service (as the OVV report has already shown). Will anyone ever want to become a star witness?

By means of @Wim van de Pol

‘We have become persona non grata’, said one of Nabil B.’s former lawyers – Onno de Jong – two weeks ago at the press conference after the presentation of the conclusions of the report of the Dutch Safety Board (OVV). “Relationships with the Public Prosecution Service have been completely disrupted.”

Today, crown witness Nabil B. told the court that he was ‘informed’ that his lawyers did not want to go any further.

B. is now alone. There was already no love between him and the Public Prosecution Service. This has already been established in recent weeks after the publication of the OVV report.

Extremely hard

That report showed that in the case of Nabil B., the Public Prosecution Service had considered the lawsuit against Ridouan Taghi more important than the security of the family. That even after two deaths in the vicinity of the key witness, his family was still not properly secured. And that the national public prosecutor’s office has fought hard (in court) to keep his confidant Peter R. de Vries as far away as possible from the case.

Finally, like the family, De Vries was denied top-level security. No wonder that family and key witness turned out to have no confidence in the Public Prosecution Service this week.

Huge effort

It is an open secret that the key witness had to go to great lengths to get a new lawyer after the murder of his lawyer Derk Wiersum in 2019. Bart Stapert, his other lawyer, stepped down (the crown witness has now filed a disciplinary complaint against him, partly because he allegedly violated his duty of confidentiality towards the Public Prosecution Service regarding Nabil B.)

All the requested lawyers did not dare or did not want to take on the job. A lawyer who was eventually found did not suffice (he has since been removed from the tableau after disciplinary complaints).

Only when Peter R. de Vries entered the arena in 2020 to become Nabil B.’s confidential adviser, B. found lawyers: Peter Schouten and Onno de Jong.

Through the head

Under the responsibility of the Public Prosecution Service, the name of the lawyer of the family of the crown witness (Royce de Vries) leaked out via De Telegraaf in 2021 (De Vries withdrew).

A few months later, Royce’s father Peter R. de Vries was shot in the head because adequate security for De Vries could not be provided by the Public Prosecution Service.

Fourth dead

The family of the key witness expressed fear this week that a fourth death will fall in the Marengo trial. The lawyers of the key witness have now resigned.

There is of course a chance that a lawyer will be found for crown witness B. after all. Who dares?

The enthusiasm will not have increased when the last lawyers – who were only found with the help of Peter R. de Vries – declare themselves ‘persona non grata’ towards the Public Prosecution Service and give up the defense.

The key witness suffered three deaths in his immediate environment and he is now without lawyers. Judging by the contents of the OVV report, it seems impossible that his family still has confidence in the Public Prosecution Service with regard to security.


Will Nabil B., after he is released next year, still care about the Public Prosecution Service? The Public Prosecution Service that will want to have him appear again as a witness in Marengo’s appeal? Will he still show up there, after the breach of trust and his already canceled security deal?

Minister Dilan Yesilgöz of Justice (VVD) and the Public Prosecution Service pretend nothing is wrong and are working hard towards the next deal with a key witness.

It even seems that the Public Prosecution Service is of the opinion that not the crown witness scheme, but crown witness Nabil B. is the problem here.

Is anyone still confident enough to step aboard the poorly secured wagon of the Public Prosecution Service? Or is it a total loss?

- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img
Latest news
- Advertisement -spot_img
Related news
- Advertisement -spot_img