Dutch police arrest suspect in slaying of witness’ lawyer


FILE – In this Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019 file photo, forensic experts search for evidence in the area where a lawyer who represented a key witness in a major Dutch organized crime trial was gunned down in Amsterdam, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Dutch police say they have arrested a man on suspicion of involvement in the shooting last month of a lawyer, a slaying that shocked the nation. Police said Thursday, Oct. 3 that the suspect was arrested on Tuesday in the investigation into the killing of lawyer Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam.(AP Photo/Peter Dejong, file)

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Police in the Netherlands said Thursday they have arrested a man in the fatal shooting of a lawyer last month, a killing that shocked the nation.

The man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of involvement in lawyer Derk Wiersum’s Sept. 18 slaying in Amsterdam, Dutch police said in a statement.

The statement did not identify the suspect or give his alleged role in the killing. He was being held in a cell complex at an undisclosed location.

Wiersum represented a witness in a criminal case against suspected underworld bosses accused in a string of killings. The witness was involved in one of the hits but cut a deal with prosecutors to provide evidence in return for a lighter sentence.

The lawyer’s death sparked outrage and calls from across the political spectrum for a crackdown on organized crime linked to a flourishing drug trade in the Netherlands.

Police also said Thursday that they found the suspected getaway vehicle used after Wiersum was shot and they have not ruled out making more arrests.

After the lawyer’s slaying, Justice and Security Minister Ferd Grapperhaus set up a team of police and prosecutors led by the country’s counterterrorism coordinator to intensify security for people working in the legal system.

“This is an attack on our constitutional state,” Grapperhaus told reporters in The Hague last month, adding: “Organized crime has crossed a line.”

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