September 19, 2019
Lawyers in gangland cases given emergency protection after unprecedented killing
Lawyers and prosecutors in major gangland drugs cases in the Netherlands have been given emergency protection after the unprecedented murder of a top defence lawyer prompted police and the media to claim that government naivety was turning the country into a narco-state.
Derk Wiersum was gunned down in the street as he left his home in the Amsterdam suburb of Buitenveldert on Wednesday morning. Police are searching for a 16- to 20-year old man in a black hooded top who fled the scene on foot.
Wiersum, 44, was acting for Nabil Bakkali, a crown witness in a case against 16 men accused of five murders between 2015 and 2017, whose brother was also shot dead last year shortly after authorities named Bakkali as a witness.
Dutch media compared Wiersum’s killing to the targeted Mafia assassinations of investigating magistrates in Italy in the 1990s or the lawless Colombia under the drugs baron Pablo Escobar.
Flags were at half-mast outside courtrooms across the Netherlands on Thursday and lawyers were to hold a minute’s silence as the justice minister, Ferd Grapperhaus, met officials from the public prosecutors’ office and representatives of Dutch lawyers’ associations to discuss the heightened security arrangements.
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Tagged: Belgium, CCBE, France, IDHAE, International Commission of Jurists, The Netherlands