Nine men suspected of the murder of prominent Dutch crime reporter Peter R de Vries will go on trial in January, a Dutch court has announced, with a verdict expected by the summer.
De Vries was gunned down on a busy Amsterdam street on 6 July 2021, shortly after leaving a TV studio where he had appeared as a guest on a programme.
The 64-year-old died nine days after he was shot in a crime that prosecutors said was linked to his role in the trial of a Dutch drug mafia kingpin.
Two suspects, identified only as Dutch man Delano G and Kamil E from Poland, were arrested shortly after the incident, which shocked the Netherlands and threw a spotlight on the growing drug trade in the country.
The two men went on trial in June last year, with prosecutors calling for life sentences against them, but a verdict was postponed after new information emerged that judges said needed to be added to the case.
During the hearing, prosecutors accused Delano G of pulling the trigger and Kamil E of driving the getaway car and carrying out surveillance before the shooting.
The two denied the charges and declined to testify in court.
Seven other suspects were subsequently arrested in the investigation.
The trial proper will now start on 23 January, with 12 days set aside by the judges, the Amsterdam district court said on its website.
“A verdict [is] expected in around June,” the court said.
The murder of De Vries in broad daylight stunned the Netherlands, where he was a household name with his own TV show, and sparked outrage across Europe.
De Vries first won fame for reporting on the 1983 kidnapping of millionaire Freddy Heineken.
Prosecutors have said they suspect De Vries was killed because of his role as adviser to a state witness, Nabil B, in the trial of an alleged drug baron, Ridouan Taghi, who was arrested in Dubai in 2019. Taghi has pleaded not guilty to the charges in his trial.