Lawyers key witness: ‘Without a fight and quarrel De Vries would still have lived’ 5:30 PM in Binnenland In a response to the OVV report, the lawyers talk "missed opportunities" and also accuse the OM of arrogance and incompetence.

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Flowers and candles on the spot where Peter R. de Vries was shot in July 2021
NOS News

If there had not been an atmosphere of quarrels and quarrels between the Public Prosecution Service (OM) and Peter R. de Vries, the crime reporter would still be alive.

This is what lawyer Peter Schouten says in response to the report by the Dutch Safety Board (OVV) about the security of Nabil B., the key witness in the Marengo trial.

After it became known that B. was a key witness, his brother, his lawyer Derk Wiersum and his confidant Peter R. de Vries were shot.

Peter Schouten, in addition to being a criminal lawyer, also a good friend of De Vries, and lawyer Onno de Jong together represent the key witness in the trial. The lawyers, together with Royce de Vries, the son of Peter R. de Vries, have made a case for an independent investigation.


“Everything that can go wrong will also go wrong with Peter R. de Vries,” said De Jong. For example, the security of De Jong and Schouten fell under the NCTV (the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security), while the Public Prosecution Service was responsible for that of De Vries.

Strange, according to De Jong, because the situations of the two lawyers were actually the same as those of De Vries. According to him, they were a team of three that together defended the key witness. In addition, Schouten spoke of “a bureaucratic act, while lives were at stake”.

The lawyers feel that they have been opposed by the National Prosecutor’s Office of the Public Prosecution Service. They speak of an organization that “treats a key witness as an opponent”.

The criminal lawyers also criticize the fact that they were not informed by the Public Prosecution Service of a new tip about an attack. “We are very sick of the fact that this murder assignment has been concealed,” says Schouten.

‘Hard to read’

De Jong had expected it to be a tough report: “But we only knew that it would be this bad when we saw the draft version of the OVV report”.

Royce de Vries calls the report “extremely painful to read”. De Vries: “It is very intense to read, it affects me more than I initially thought,” he told the ANP news agency. “The mistakes that were made, how it turned out.”

Schouten and De Jong talk about “missed opportunities” and also accuse the OM of arrogance and incompetence. According to Schouten, the report has highlighted pain points, but there are still “loose ends”.

The lawyers expressed the hope that the report will lead to improvements and ask the government to monitor this.

  • Family shot dead brother of key witness happy with OVV investigation report
  • Mistakes made in the run-up to the murders of Derk Wiersum and Peter R. de Vries, says OVV
  • OM starts finalizing Marengo case, ‘the most toxic process ever’
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