Spain Arrests Suspect in the Murder of Prominent Dutch Crime Reporter

Published: 19 July 2022

Peter R de VriesSpanish police arrested Friday a third suspect in the murder of Peter R. de Vries, a prominent Dutch crime reporter. (Photo: DWDD, Wikimedia, License)

By Henry Pope

Spanish police arrested Friday a suspect in the murder of a prominent Dutch crime reporter, who was shot in the head on the streets of Amsterdam in broad daylight last year.

Peter R. de Vries was a Dutch journalist renowned for his independent investigations into the world of organized crime. He died in hospital nine days following the attack.

The suspect, who at this time remains unidentified by police, was arrested in the province of Barcelona as part of an international manhunt for the last of three individuals wanted for the reporter’s murder.

Just over a year ago, de Vries exited a television studio at about 7:45pm local time after recording an episode of RTL Boulevard as a guest. On his way to his car, he was shot five times, including once in the head.

The attacker and his conspirators fled the scene, while de Vries was rushed to hospital in critical condition.

Shortly after the attempt on his life, Dutch police reported the arrest of two suspects. The first was a 22-year-old man living in Rotterdam, while the other was a 36-year-old man of Polish nationality living in the Netherlands.

An international manhunt soon followed to locate the third conspirator who police say was also present during the shooting.

Authorities from both the Netherlands and Spain established a joint task force aimed at tracking the suspect down.

Once located in Barcelona, Spanish investigators noted that he barely left his home out of fear of discovery and that other people would periodically come by to supply him with food and other provisions.

When he did exit the premises, it was more often than not just to go to ground elsewhere.

Two Dutch national police agents were present at the time of his arrest to assume custody and transfer him back to the Netherlands.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted shortly after de Vries succumbed to his injuries that the journalist was “dedicated, tenacious, afraid of nothing and no one. Always seeking the truth and standing up for justice.”

“We owe it to Peter R. de Vries to ensure that justice takes its course,” Rutte said. “We may and will never tolerate this in the Netherlands.”