Outgoing Minister of Justice and Security Ferd Grapperhaus has asked the Dutch Safety Board (OVV) to take over the investigation into the security situations of crime journalist Peter R. de Vries and the brother and then lawyer of crown witness Nabil B. in the Marengo trial.

According to the ministry, the OVV is taking over the research from Tjibbe Joustra, former National Coordinator for Counterterrorism (NCTb).

Grapperhaus made the request after discussions with, among others, the relatives of De Vries and experts.

De Vries was killed with bullets in July.

B.'s then lawyer Derk Wiersum met the same fate in September 2019.

Reduan B., the brother of the crown witness, was also killed by firearms violence in March 2018.

Joustra would lead the investigation into the security of De Vries.

Peter Schouten, the current lawyer of Nabil B., among others, criticized the role of the former NTCb.

From his previous position, Joustra could not be objective.

De Vries' next of kin also had doubts about the impartiality of the chairman of the investigation committee.

Grapperhaus says it has made the request to the OVV after discussions with those involved and experts.

"The terrible murder of Peter R. de Vries has made a huge impact in the Netherlands. Given the great social importance of the investigation into his security situation, I attach great importance to broad support for the investigation," said the minister.

See also: What do we know about the security surrounding Peter R. de Vries?

Lawyers Nabil B. urged better security De Vries

Lawyers Peter Schouten and Onno de Jong have repeatedly insisted on better security for crime journalist De Vries, they said shortly after the attack on his life.

According to Schouten, more could have been done to protect De Vries.

A month later, B.'s lawyers called the Ministry of Justice and Security naive in combating serious crime and protecting a key witness.

They believe that the government has been lax in protecting those involved in the Marengo process.

Lawyers want joint investigation, House wants debate first

The lawyers want the murders of the brother of crown witness Nabil B. (in 2018), his then lawyer Wiersum (2019) and De Vries (in July of this year) to be jointly investigated.

According to them, there should be an independent chairman for the investigation committee.

A majority of the House of Representatives announced on Monday that they first wanted a debate before an actual investigation into the security of De Vries, who died on 15 July.

Grapperhaus (Justice and Security) has been asked not to take any irreversible steps regarding the investigation until then.

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