Tahmina Akefi is a journalist and writer. She worked for the NOS, among others, and wrote two books. She currently presents programs on the regional channel TV Rijnmond. In the documentary, she looks back at the weeks and days before the assassination attempt on July 6, 2021. For example, the couple was followed several times in Amsterdam, while they were looking for jewelry there because of their wedding plans. “We were working on the future, while the plan to finish it was already ready,” says the journalist with tears in her eyes.
Akefi and De Vries called the authorities after one of the chases on 28 June. “It was so striking that it was reported to the police. But nothing has been done with it. Nothing at all. That report only surfaced after the attack. I can’t believe that a report comes in that Peter R. de Vries, confidential counselor of the key witness, has been pursued and that nothing is being done about it. Then all the alarm bells should have gone off.”
According to Akefi, De Vries would have been angry about the laconic attitude of the authorities, among other things. For example, he had an appointment with the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security, but he was not allowed to park in the garage, so he had to walk a long distance on the street. “Peter was furious,” Akefi says. “So mad. “This is how they handle my safety,” he said.
Couple was to get married this year
At the beginning of the documentary, Akefi tells about the meeting with De Vries at the talk show Peacock in 2015, where it was love at first sight between the two. Akefi tells how deep the love between them was: ,,He wrote countless letters for me. Even after his death I found five more.” She also says that there were wedding plans for June 2022. “A beautiful and dignified way to step out of anonymity”, she describes it herself. “But those plans have been taken from us.”
Maker Simon Vuyk put in on Sunday morning WNL on Sunday already figured out why Akefi wanted to remain anonymous for six years. “One of the main reasons for her was not to be accused of using Peter as a wheelbarrow for her own career. She is relatively young, was at the beginning of her career and wanted to build it on her own. She has done that.”
De Vries and Akefi already had plans to make their relationship public. “Everything was aimed at 2022,” says Vuyk. “That’s why the documentary is coming now. She hesitated a lot about that. But for her, it was decisive: we would step forward together, so I’m doing it alone now.” Another important reason is the fact that she wants to use her right to speak next summer. The murder case will be dealt with substantively in June.
Vuyk worked with De Vries for 31 years and told in WNL on Sunday indicated that he found it difficult to look at the case as an objective journalist. “The tragedy is so great,” he explained. “Peter stepped into the Marengo process primarily to expose the government’s failure to date. How come that brother was murdered? How could it be that his lawyer was subsequently murdered as well? Eventually you get the feeling that history has repeated itself with him.”
“Communication was so incredibly bad,” Vuyk continued his story. “If you think about it, the tears are gone and I immediately get incredibly angry. Peter has talked about this so many times in the meantime. You didn’t intervene. Calling, making appointments and then getting the answer: ‘I’ll get back to you within three weeks’. Then you knew that in two months you had to ask: ‘when will those three weeks be up for you?’ And then it’s about life and death, after two murders had already been committed. The Dutch Safety Board must really pull this off. If that doesn’t happen, I don’t know what will.”