OVV says it was mistakes that led to the killing of Derk Wiersum and Peter R. de Vries

OVV says it was mistakes that led to the killing of Derk Wiersum and Peter R. de Vries

Police and prosecutors overlooked many signals before the murder of key witness Nabil B.’s brother, B’s lawyer Derk Wiersum, and confidant Peter R. de Vries. This is what the Dutch Safety Board (OVV) wrote in a report on the safety of the three.

According to the OVV, the various services involved in monitoring and investigation worked past each other. As a result, decisions were made based on fragmented information. “The surveillance and security system did not receive all the information available in the investigation regarding the threat.”

Prepare better for serious crimes

One of the OVV’s recommendations is that authorities should better prepare themselves for threats from organized crime. “The standard procedure is no longer sufficient.” Relevant services need to be managed centrally and authorities responsible for security need better access to available information.

Another important lesson is that the Key Witty deal should not be announced until the security of those involved has been adjusted. This was not the case before the attack on the key witness’s brother, Reduan B. While Nabil B.’s family was confiscated, other family members were not arrested.

“Signals from threatened individuals were not considered ambiguous” and “therefore, they did not “fit with the usual system”. A lot of work has been done based on unconfirmed assumptions such as “not targeting lawyers”. Communication between the prosecution’s office on the one hand and De Vries and B.’s family on the other was also difficult.

In the period between 2018 and 2022, the OVV interviewed key witness family members, lawyers, police and OM staff, and other interested parties. The report points to system errors, incorrect estimates, and misunderstandings between related services.

Nabil B. and her family have been warning about security risks since 2017, when negotiations on the remorse agreement began. The safety of his ex-wife and child Nabil B. has been arranged. The OVV writes that, according to the prosecution, “safety risks to the family could not be ruled out, but there were no concrete signs at the time.” There was only “soft” information as described.

cameras are waiting

The family made several security inquiries but OM did not respond. It was decided to install cameras on the roads leading to Reduan B.’s company, but this would take a few more days.

Two days after the family’s last request, B. was shot dead in his shop in North Amsterdam. Specifically, shortly after this murder, OM said he wanted “no or limited security.”

Wiersum should have been “careful” too

Tight security was placed on the family after the death of the star witness’s brother. It was presumed that this was not necessary for Nabil B.’s lawyers. The OVV writes, “The previous warnings of B.’s lawyer that he should also be ‘careful’ were not taken seriously by his lawyers and the prosecution.”

Various security measures have been taken. For example, there was surveillance around Wiersum’s house, but after a while it was reduced from one hourly to six hours a day. This decision was made because the specific threat was not known and to reduce the pressure on the police. Important information about a Renault Mégane, which is frequently seen near Wiersum, did not reach the right police team.

On September 18, 2019, lawyer Derk Wiersum was shot and killed outside his home in Amsterdam-Buitenveldert.

Difficult contact with De Vries

According to the OVV, communication between Peter R. de Vries, who joined the key witness’s team as a confidant, and the prosecution was difficult. The prosecution initiated police surveillance around De Vries’ home and conducted a threat analysis.

De Vries was offered security on arrival and departure by the prosecutor. However, the criminal journalist did not always want to reveal his agenda due to his professional and private situation. De Vries emphasized that he first wanted to see concrete information about the threat against him. However, prosecutors and police wanted to protect whistleblowers who provided this information and did not share it.

Source: NOS