Ridouan Taghi is not yet in court

Lawyer Nico Meijering accuses the prosecutor‘s office of withholding crucial information exculpatory to suspects. This is what the lawyer said during an introductory hearing in the mega-criminal case Marengo against 17 suspects of several (attempted) underworld murders.

Follow the tweets of court reporter Saskia Belleman at the bottom of this post.

According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the verification inquiry into the judgments of key witness Nabil B. shows that he is reliable. But according to Meijering, it is โ€œstatistically impossible that all his statements are correct. Moreover, at least 99 claims were no longer verifiable. The prosecution does not say which ones are, โ€œbut it can be very exculpating for my client Mohamed R.โ€ says Meijering.

The introductory hearing will be the last for the substantive examination of the criminal case, which will begin on 18 February and will certainly last well into 2022.

Taghi

The main suspects in the case, Ridouan Taghi and Said Razzouki, have not yet shown themselves in the courtroom. Razzouki is still in prison in Colombia pending his extradition to the Netherlands. Taghi was previously extradited by Dubai. He is expected to make his appearance in the bunker during the substantive treatment.

The investigation will continue during the substantive examination, the prosecutors said. According to the officers, the investigation so far shows evidence that star witness Nabil B. is telling the truth. For example, his statements with evidence from signals between Taghi and co-suspects about, among other things, the order Taghi gave to liquidate Amsterdam‘s professional criminal Danny K. and his confidant Karim Bouyakhrichan.

Corrupt cops

The messages the suspects sent each other give a heart-pounding glimpse into the organization’s operations. For example, it talks about getting information through ‘hats’ โ€” corrupt policemen โ€” about plans by rivals to kill members of Taghi‘s gang. If that kind of plan were there, someone from โ€œthe familyโ€ had to be caught. The body could be disposed of in Belgium: โ€œMake it disappear completely in a bath of salt.โ€

According to the prosecution, a kind of accounting was also found, kept by Mario R., which kept track of how much โ€œdadโ€ (money) had to be paid to โ€œspottersโ€ who observed the targets and to โ€œhittersโ€: assassins.

Advocate

Onno de Jong of key witness Nabil B. was displeased by a meeting that took place after the session of 10 December between the court, and the lawyers Nico Meijering and Christian Flokstra. These lawyers are assisting Saรฏd Razzouki and several other suspects in the trial. The reason was the furious outburst of Nabil B. who blamed the lawyers for โ€œthrowing his former lawyer Derk Wiersum in front of the bus.โ€ Wiersum was murdered on 18 September 2019. According to Nabil B., the lawyers are guilty of this because they had started โ€œa slander campaignโ€ against the counsel.

After the conversation with Meijering and Flokstra, the court asked the key witness to refrain from further ‘tirades‘ and keep it in business. De Jong says that he and Nabil B. felt โ€œleft outโ€ and said that they should have been at that conversation. He called it disturbing that after the โ€œtalkโ€ the court took over the language of lawyer Meijering, suggesting that Nabil B.’s words should not be taken seriously.

Attorney Christian Flokstra complained of the lack of openness of cases that the prosecution of the court has to give about observing the lawyers Meijering and Leon van Kleve during a visit to Dubai in June 2019, including the police management of Dubai. as witnesses, and also top people from the prosecution who were involved in the decision. The observation was decided on the basis of a tip that the lawyers would meet with the then still fugitive Taghi, but that turned out to be wrong.

Follow the latest reports from court reporter Saskia Belleman.