On July 7, 2017, during a liquidation in the parking lot of the NS station in Breukelen, he does the impossible. The then 32-year-old Rotterdammer Tony de G. drives the car in which he and the shooter flee after the victim was killed at close range with a gun. “Then I crossed a border,” Tony said on Tuesday during the first public interrogation in the criminal case. ‘There is’. His voice is distorted and the public cannot see him. He is the key witness in this criminal case against a group of suspects who were almost all members of the now banned motorcycle club Caloh Wagoh.
The murder in Breukelen is the first time that he is involved in a liquidation. Tony de G. has been active in the criminal environment for a decade, he tells the court. He was involved in drug and weapon trafficking, criminal collections, scams, cannabis cultivation. “A contract murder is not about your own conflict,” he says when asked what the difference is for him between a liquidation and the trade in drugs and weapons. “I’ve never used a weapon.”
After the liquidation, in which Tony is under the influence of cocaine, everything goes wrong. A witness sees how they unsuccessfully try to set fire to a getaway car when transferring to another car. In a blind panic they leave the car with the weapons in it.
De G. knows that the police will find numerous traces, but he is still under pressure from his client to carry out a liquidation. He doesn’t want to anymore. He tries to delay another liquidation and when that fails, he flees to Spain. He says he fears for his life. “I was more afraid of Caloh Wagoh than of the police. Why? Because the police don’t kill you.” When he is caught there in the autumn of 2017, he is relieved and decides to make a statement about his own role in the liquidation. “There was a lot of evidence and I was sorry,” Tony says. “I thought I had done something I couldn’t and therefore had to sit on the blisters.”
De G. gets the idea of not just explaining his own role by a detective who says in an unguarded moment that he thinks Tony knows a lot more. And after a second conversation, De G. decides to see where talking with the police can lead: “I could stop explaining at any time, I thought that was important.” Things move quickly after that and Tony decides to tell all about murders committed by members of Caloh Wagoh.
Why now, the court president asks. De G. explains that he would never be able to get out of the criminal life without the help of justice. “It was about safety. I see this as a second chance at a life outside the criminal world.”
As a key witness, Tony has to make many statements. And sometimes that leads to additions: new memories. Still, he doesn’t feel like he’s been pressured to explain. The court chairman points to statements by witnesses who say that De G. has not always taken it so closely with the truth in the past. “Hasn’t that become a habit,” the court wants to know. No, says Tony. “When it comes to making money, you know you’re lying.” The question is what shows that he is not lying now. “I’m just telling my story, the police have to investigate that further and then it’s up to the court to judge it.”
Terrible things have happened around another key witness, the court chairman refers to the murders of Reduan, the brother of key witness Nabil B., his lawyer Derk Wiersum, and his confidant Peter R. de Vries. Does that have any influence, the chairman wants to know. “Yes”, Tony replies. “That’s why I still doubt it every day. I am especially afraid of people who are not in protection. But I’m not going to explain otherwise.”
A version of this article also appeared in NRC on the morning of September 1, 2021