Peter R de Vries, a popular Dutch crime reporter, has lost his life nine days after he was shot in Amsterdam.
A family statement said: “Peter fought to the end, but was unable to win the battle.”
“Peter has lived by his conviction: ‘On bended knee is no way to be free,'” the family statement said. “We are unbelievably proud of him and at the same time inconsolable.”
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The statement also requested privacy for De Vries’ partner and loved ones to “process his death in peace”.
Police said De Vries was shot in Lange Leidsedwarsstraat, close to a large public square in Amsterdam. The attack happened after the journalist, 64, made a regular appearance on a current affairs television show.
Two suspects have been detained in connection with the shooting, on 6 July. De Vries is one of the Netherland’s best-known crime reporters and has won critical acclaim for his fearless reporting on the Dutch underworld – including the 1983 kidnap of beer magnate, Freddy Heineken.
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But his investigations on the case led to him receiving threats in the past. Two men appeared at Amsterdam District Court for a hearing last Friday and were detained in custody for another two weeks. They were arrested shortly after De Vries was wounded.
Dutch police said the shooter is suspected to be a 21-year-old Dutchman, while a 35-year-old Polish national living in the Netherlands is alleged to have driven a getaway car.
The court said in a statement that “there are currently sufficient objections and grounds to keep the two men in pre-trial detention.” But police are still trying to establish a motive for the attack.
Spokesperson Sarah Tillart said: “We are running through several scenarios and are working with all our might to find out what the role of the suspects is and who else might be responsible.”
Amsterdam mayor, Femke Halsema, described De Vries as a “national hero” and “an unusually courageous journalist, tirelessly seeking justice.”
Dutch PM, Mark Rutte, tweeted a tribute to the journalist: “Peter R. de Vries was always dedicated, tenacious, afraid of nothing and no one. Always seeking the truth and standing up for justice. And that makes it all the more dramatic that he himself has now become the victim of a great injustice.”
Photo Credit: Getty