A TOP crime reporter has died after being shot five times in a brazen “revenge” attack in Amsterdam.
Award-winning Dutch journalist Peter R de Vries is feared to have been targeted by mobsters he had exposed during his career.
RTL – the Dutch network he regularly worked for – cited a family statement as saying Peter “fought to the end” but succumbed to his injuries.
The statement revealed the 64 year old died surrounded by loved ones.
“Peter has lived by his conviction: On bended knee is no way to be free”, it read.
“We are unbelievably proud of him and at the same time inconsolable.”
De Vries, widely lauded for fearless reporting on the Dutch underworld, was targeted on July 6 after making one of his regular appearances on a current affairs television show.
He had received multiple threats from the criminal underworld in the past in connection with several cases.
He was shot in the head in a street near a large public square in Amsterdam and rushed to hospital.
Police later arrested two suspects, a Pole, 35, and a 21-year-old Dutchman, after a motorway chase.
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.”
De Vries, who first won fame for his reporting on the kidnapping of Heineken millionaire Freddy Heineken in 1983, had recently been involved in a court case against one of the country’s alleged drug barons.
Dutch PM Mark Rutte today vowed to track down those responsible as he tweeted a moving tribute to the journalist.
Rutte wrote: “We owe it to Peter R. de Vries to make sure justice is served.
“We cannot and will not ever tolerate this in the Netherlands. This act of cowardice can’t go unpunished.”
He aded: “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.”
A ceremony to honour the journalist was held at Amsterdam’s Westerkerk church last Friday.
Around 4,000 white roses were placed at the Nationaal Monument nearby, with a sign reading “Attack on Freedom of the Press”.
Dutch King Willem Alexander has branded the shooting “an attack on journalism, the cornerstone of our constitutional state and therefore also an attack on the rule of law”.