Two men have been jailed for 30 years each for the murder in 2019 of a Dutch lawyer linked to the same gangland court case in which investigative journalist Peter R de Vries was involved when he too was shot dead earlier this year.
The two defendants – named only as Giermo B (37) and Moreno B (32) – were hired assassins, said the presiding judge, sent out to kill part-time judge and father of two Derk Wiersum (44) because he worked “in the service of the rule of law”.
“This was a gangland killing,” said the judge. “It was a paid-for hit. The defendants were brought in to kill the victim. And they were paid to do it.”
Mr Wiersum was shot as he said goodbye to his wife outside their home in an Amsterdam suburb in September 2019, in a killing which shocked the Netherlands and led to a pledge by prime minister Mark Rutte to crack down on drug-related crime.
Mr Wiersum was representing Nabil B, the key witness in the so-called Marengo trial, in which 17 defendants are accused of six murders and seven attempted murders between 2015 and 2017.
Nabil B’s brother was shot dead in 2018 in what prosecutors said was a clear attempt to dissuade his brother from giving evidence.
Journalist Peter R de Vries, who subsequently became an adviser to Nabil B, was also shot dead last July.
The principal suspect in the Marengo case is Ridouan Taghi, the Netherlands’ most wanted criminal prior to his extradition from Dubai in 2019.