Dutch lawyer shot in German town in ‘targeted’ attack
Germany and the Netherlands launched a cross-border manhunt on Wednesday after a Dutch man was shot at in a suspected targeted attack.
The shooting took place in the German town of Gronau, near the border with the Netherlands.
Unknown assailants opened fire on the man on Wednesday morning and hit the 43-year-old victim at least once, German prosecutor Martin Botzenhardt said.
“The background of the attack is not yet clear, but there are indications that the Gronau man was targeted,” Botzenhardt, who heads the prosecutor’s office in Münster, said.
The man was rushed to the hospital where he was operated on. Botzenhardt told the Associated Press that he didn’t have information on the man’s condition, but said he was able to speak to authorities after the attack.
The suspects fled in a small white car that had Dutch license plates, German authorities said, adding that multiple people were believed to be sitting in the car.
Read more: Europol smashes major European crime gang
Dutch lawyers facing violence
Following the shooting, Dutch media reported that the victim was a lawyer who has an office in the Dutch border town in Enschede but lives in Germany.
The Netherlands Bar, the country’s association for lawyers, wrote on Twitter that they were “shocked” by the shooting and described the attack as an attempted hit.
“The safety of lawyers deserves serious attention and appropriate measures,” the association added.
Before Wednesday’s attack, the victim had been repeatedly threatened, Dutch public broadcaster NOS reported, adding that the Dutch counter-terrorism and security office was aware of the threats.
German authorities have not released the man’s identity or commented on reports that he was a lawyer.
If confirmed, the 43-year-old man would be the second Dutch lawyer to be targeted by gunmen in recent weeks.
In September, Derk Wiersum, a lawyer representing a key witness in an organized crime trial was shot dead near his home in Amsterdam. His death sparked outrage and calls for a crackdown on gangs in the Netherlands.
rs/rc (AP, dpa)