Footage of the Dutch crime reporter Peter R de Vries taken shortly after he had been shot in the head in central Amsterdam is thought to have been filmed and posted on the internet by those involved in his murder.
Investigators believe two men had been standing ready and waiting for De Vries before he was attacked as part of a plan to film his body and post the images on the internet in order to attract maximum publicity.
Videos of bystanders coming to help the fatally injured journalist swiftly went viral before YouTube eventually removed them.
“If you want maximum attention, you do this,” a police source told the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper. “Then you ensure that shocking videos immediately spread across the internet. It is suspected that the men were waiting there.”
De Vries, 64, a well-known name in the Netherlands, died a week after being being shot five times – including at least once in the head – at about 7.45pm local time (18.45 BST) on 6 July.
He had been on his way to a car park on the Lange Leidsedwarsstraat after leaving a nearby RTL Boulevard TV studio.
Surveillance cameras from nearby cafes recorded two men, who were wearing almost identical clothing, reaching towards their phones shortly before the shooting. “As if they wanted their camera in hand right away,” the source said.
Following the attack, they are then seen calmly circling De Vries’ prone body seemingly in order to capture images. They were both wearing blue jeans, white trainers, grey sweaters, and had a similar type of bag across their chests.
Sources close to the murder investigation said the behaviour of the men had been immediately noticeable. “The movements of those two are very unnatural and have our explicit attention,” the source told the Dutch newspaper.
De Vries, who first came to prominence due to his reporting on the kidnapping of the millionaire brewer Freddy Heineken in 1983, had his own TV show for 17 years, working with victims’ families, pursuing unsolved cases and exposing miscarriages of justice.
But since last year he had been acting as an adviser and media spokesman to Nabil B, a former gang member turned informant in the prosecution case against Ridouan Taghi, a suspected drug lord arrested in Dubai in 2019.
When arrested, Taghi had been described as “one of the world’s most dangerous and wanted men”.
Nabil B’s brother was murdered in 2018, and a separate trial of three men suspected of shooting dead his former lawyer Derk Wiersum in 2019 began earlier this month.
Taghi’s lawyer, Inez Weski, has denied that his client had anything to do with the De Vries attack, or any others.
The men believed by police to have been filming De Vries as he lay dying have not been identified. Two murder suspects were arrested on the A4 motorway soon after the shooting. A 35-year-old Pole identified as Kamil E is suspected of having driven the getaway car and a 21-year-old Dutchman, Delano G, is the suspected gunman.