EU Council President Charles Michel has condemned the attempted assassination of crime reporter Peter R. de Vries in Amsterdam, and Michel spoke at the European Parliament in Strasbourg expressing his solidarity with relatives and the Netherlands.
Journalist De Vries was shot dead on Tuesday evening after leaving a TV studio in central Amsterdam, where he was seriously injured and taken to hospital.
The journalist and TV presenter was recently a close friend of a key witness in a drug lord’s trial, and European Parliament President David Sassoli was shocked by the attack, writing on Twitter that attacks on journalists are attacks on us all because the media is the backbone of democracy.
For his part, Dutch King Willem-Alexander condemned the attack on the investigative journalist. The King told reporters on the sidelines of his official visit to Berlin: This is an attack on the press, the cornerstone of our rule of law, and therefore an attack on our constitutional system. As a rule, the Royal House does not comment on current developments.
Willem-Alexander’s statements indicate the importance of the seriously injured de Vries in the Netherlands. According to police, the two suspects are a 35-year-old man with Polish citizenship from the southeastern town of Mark and a 21-year-old from Rotterdam.
Computers and ammunition were found inside homes in Maurek, Rotterdam, and Tell, and the two suspects are due to appear before a judge on Friday. They were arrested just hours after the attack on the highway.