The lawyers told this in the first session in the trial after the murder of Peter R. de Vries on Tuesday morning. “Peter R. de Vries was murdered. It is the third murder of a person related to the crown witness in what has now become the saddest series in the history of Dutch criminal law,” said lawyer Onno de Jong. “You can imagine that the death of a member of our defense team had a devastating effect on us – and therefore on the key witness – also on our motivation. Let me put it this way: if I had been a suspect, I would have signed off for the rest of the trial, if I had witnessed I would have refused to appear and if I had to I would refuse to testify. I would never want to appear again in Marengo, the most sickened, poisoned trial ever.”
Crown witness Nabil B. also appeared in court again. He is going to explain again, after the lawyers previously said there were ‘impediments’ to answering questions. “We are there again today. Not complete, never complete again, but we have to move on. For Nabil it is the third time that after the murder of someone from his immediate environment he has to get up and carry on. He does that in a hurry ” Phoenix-like’ manner,” said De Jong.
The lawyers called on the judges to ‘stand up’. De Jong stated that it was time to show what the judiciary in the Netherlands stands for. “Namely for the protection of the rule of law and its subjects. It is time to radiate that with all possible force and to tolerate nothing that can undermine it. It is time to show that you can. And it is time to give everyone involved the confidence that the rule of law will not be intimidated.”
Furthermore, De Jong said that he and Schouten are going back to work with ‘great reluctance’. “Maybe I should speak in a personal capacity now, I’d rather not be here anymore, not have to see you all again. Under other circumstances I wouldn’t say that, but now that one member of our team has been killed, we have the right, even the duty, to show and hear that nothing is worth sacrificing a human life for. So we are here and will do our utmost to bring this process to a successful conclusion. We expect from all participants the same.”