At the end of a street in Amsterdam-Buitenveldert, with long rows of parked cars on two sides, a white vehicle slides through the image. It is about half past six in the morning of Wednesday, September 18, 2019. A few images later, it is then around seven thirty, a security camera registers a darkly dressed figure standing next to one of the parked cars. He raises one arm, towards the driver’s side of the car, and runs away moments later, “in a lanky way,” a witness would later say. The driver’s side door swings open. Moments later, Derk Wiersum (44), one of Nabil B.’s counsel, a key witness in the Marengo trial against Ridouan Taghi, dies.
The – silent – images from the surveillance camera formed the most striking material on Monday during the first day of the substantive handling of the case. Two suspects, including the possible gunman, were present at the hearing, but invoked their right to remain silent. Giermo B. and Moreno B. often looked away when the images were shown on monitors in the hall of the heavily guarded court at Schiphol-East.
The material seemed to confirm what the police had already said: Derk Wiersum was probably not killed immediately. Initially, gunner Moreno B.’s weapon may have malfunctioned when he was standing next to the car. Only after Wiersum got out of his vehicle with the engine still running and ran after the gunman, a witness – a witness hears him yell ‘goddamn’ and ‘cuck up’ – did the latter turn around and Moreno B. had another try. done. That worked.
Also read this article: Giermo B. is suspected of co-perpetrating the murder of lawyer Derk Wiersum
Before this material was shown, a legal joust took place between defense and court. The lawyers Gerald Roethof and Jacques Taekema made a final attempt in the morning to convince the court that the trial could not start at all. Roethof referred to ‘the great frenzy of the case’, he argued for a ‘business approach’ in which there was room for ‘alternative scenarios’ for the dominant theory that Wiersum was killed at the behest of Taghi. In order to create space for that alternative theory, new witnesses would first have to be heard, such as the widow of the murdered lawyer and Peter R. de Vries, until recently a confidant of Nabil B. and the victim of an attack last week. Taekema referred to the miscarriage of justice in the ‘Deventer murder case’ as a warning that the court should not be too quick to embrace a certain theory.
The defense pointed out that Wiersum’s widow had previously stated that her husband had had an argument with Nabil B. Roethof the day before the murder and that others therefore first wanted to put B. to the test, and preferably also Peter R. de Vries. . They could tell more about that quarrel, which could provide a possible motive for an attack on Wiersum. Another theory is that there is no premeditated murder plot at all, including weeks of observations in the street in Wiersum, as the Public Prosecution Service states, but a spontaneous impulse. The camera images of the street of Wiersum would underline that.
The court withdrew twice for internal consultations. The first time, the request was rejected, partly because it concerned old requests that had already been rejected. The second time, the court only formally granted the arrest request, ie for a period of half an hour. The chairman of the hearing also hinted that he felt that the defense was training progress unnecessarily.
Also read this article: After the murder, Giermo B. suddenly had an unusually large amount of money
After that, the court presented the file at lightning speed, containing many incriminating facts, according to the Public Prosecution Service. For example, Wiersum’s blood was found in the white car, an Opel Combo that had been driven by Gërmo B.. Both B’s, no family but yes brothers for life as they called each other, they had a lot of contact via prepaid telephones before and after the liquidation. These had also been used in the street of Wiersum, radio masts in the area registered. After the morning of the eighteenth September, Giermo B. consulted with his girlfriend about a ritual washing that would be necessary to avoid evil spirits after a “violent event”. The lawsuit continues on Tuesday.
Also read this article from 2019: Liquidation of lawyer ‘is an attack on the rule of law’
A version of this article also appeared in NRC in the morning of July 13, 2021