Dutch Police Arrest Suspect in Slaying of Witness’ Lawyer

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
October 4, 2019 Updated: October 4, 2019

THE HAGUE, Netherlands—Police in the Netherlands said Oct. 3 they have arrested a man in the fatal shooting of a lawyer last month, a killing that shocked the nation.

The man was arrested Oct. 1 on suspicion of involvement in lawyer Derk Wiersum’s Sept. 18 slaying in Amsterdam, Dutch police said in a statement.

The statement did not identify the suspect or give his alleged role in the killing. He was being held in a cell complex at an undisclosed location.

Wiersum represented a witness in a criminal case against suspected underworld bosses accused in a string of killings. The witness was involved in one of the hits but cut a deal with prosecutors to provide evidence in return for a lighter sentence.

The lawyer’s death sparked outrage and calls from across the political spectrum for a crackdown on organized crime linked to a flourishing drug trade in the Netherlands.

Police also said Oct. 3 that they found the suspected getaway vehicle used after Wiersum was shot and they have not ruled out making more arrests.

After the lawyer’s slaying, Justice and Security Minister Ferd Grapperhaus set up a team of police and prosecutors led by the country’s counterterrorism coordinator to intensify security for people working in the legal system.

“This is an attack on our constitutional state,” Grapperhaus told reporters in The Hague last month, adding: “Organized crime has crossed a line.”

The Associated Press
The Associated Press