News In Focus
Dutch crime lawyer murdered in Amsterdam street
Law firms across the Netherlands have flown their flags at half mast after the murder of a lawyer on an Amsterdam street.
Derk Wiersum, 44, was shot as he stood next to his wife in the south of the city.
Mr Wiersum, a specialist in serious and organised crime, had been acting for a witness in a gangland murder trial and had received death threats.
In a statement, the Netherlands Order of Advocates said: "NOvA is shocked that lawyer Derk Wiersum has been murdered in the performance of his duties. It is unimaginable and deeply tragic that a lawyer, husband and father has been murdered just because he is doing his job. The rule of law has been violated today."
The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) said it was "utterly shocked" by the murder.
It stated: "The murder of lawyers while exercising their professional duties is an unacceptable attack on the legal profession, which role is essential to guarantee access to justice and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all citizens - particularly through the protection of the rights of the defence and the guarantees of a fair trial.
"Attacks against lawyers are attacks against the rule of law.
"The CCBE will continue to fight to obtain that all lawyers are able to perform their professional duties without fear of reprisal, hindrance, intimidation or harassment, in order to preserve the independence and integrity of the administration of justice and the rule of law."