A modified firing pistol believed to have been used to kill the Dutch crime reporter Peter R de Vries was found in the alleged getaway car of the two men on trial for his murder, a court has heard.
On the opening day of the suspects’ trial in The Hague, held under high security, prosecutors said witnesses, security camera footage and scientific evidence all pointed to Delano G, 21, being the shooter and Kamiel E, 35, acting as the getaway driver.
De Vries, 64, a household name in the Netherlands, was shot five times – including at least once in the head – at about 7.45pm local time (1845 BST) on 6 July on his way to a car park on the Lange Leidsedwarsstraat in Amsterdam after leaving a nearby TV studio. He died nine days after the attack.
Prosecutors said that when the two men were detained on the A4 motorway in a Renault Clio about 30 miles outside the city, police found a Heckler and Koch machine pistol and, in a Louis Vuitton bag, a blank-firing pistol that had been modified to take 9mm rounds.
Forensic tests showed that a bullet found in De Vries’ head was probably fired by the modified gun.
Delano G, a Dutch national, declined to make a statement in court. He has refused to speak to police and prosecutors. Kamiel E, a Polish national who spoke through an interpreter, claimed to have not been aware of any plan to kill De Vries.
He said: “Your honour, I didn’t kill anybody, I know nothing about the murder, I did not see a weapon … I want to say that I am innocent.
“I wasn’t instructed where to go until just before that … The day before I got a car and €100. They told me not to worry and to bring someone to Amsterdam.”
Kamiel E claimed that Delano G had left the car without him in Amsterdam only to later run back, before departing for Rotterdam. The two men were stopped by the police within an hour.
De Vries became famous for reporting the kidnapping of the millionaire brewer Freddy Heineken in 1983 and he had his own TV show for 17 years pursuing unsolved cases. He had been acting as an adviser to the key prosecution witness against Ridouan Taghi, known as the Netherlands’ most wanted criminal.
Taghi is on trial along with 16 other men for alleged involvement in a series of murders and attempted murders. Both a lawyer representing the witness and the witness’s brother have been murdered. A lawyer for Taghi denied on Monday that his client was involved in De Vries’s killing.
The two men’s trial will continue in December. Prosecutors said their investigation was continuing.