Morocco to prosecute suspect in Amsterdam killings

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Morocco will continue the prosecution of Hamza B., a 26-year-old Moroccan suspected of involvement in the execution of two men in Amsterdam in December 2012.

The suspect was arrested by Moroccan police in June 2013 at the Tangier Airport. Investigations pointed at him as one of the men who on December 29 2012 opened fire with automatic weapons on a Range Rover in Amsterdam’s Staatsliedenbuurt. Two of the men who were in the vehicle were killed; a third survived. The shooters also fired shots at two police officers on motorbikes that set chase on them; the officers narrowly escaped being hit by bullets.

Dutch police investigations led to Hamza B. who had meanwhile fled to Morocco; but even though his arrest was at the request of Dutch authorities, he could not be extradited because Morocco does not hand over its citizens to foreign Governments.

The Prosecutor’s Office reported this morning that a team of police officers and prosecutors from Amsterdam has traveled to Morocco to hand over Hamza B's criminal dossier so he can stand trial there. “There has been good cooperation between the police in Amsterdam, the investigative Judge and the police in Tangier. This cooperation proves that fleeing the Netherlands for Morocco does not pay,” the Prosecutor’s Office stated.

The transfer of the Hamza B’s case is based on the judicial cooperation the Kingdom of the Netherlands signed with the Kingdom of Morocco on December 1 2012.

It said that it also has confidence that Moroccan authorities will take proper case of Hamza B’s case, seeing that in January 2011 the Prosecutor’s Office in Arnhem also handed over a case to Morocco, which led to verdict for the suspect in question.

It is not clear yet when Hamza B’s case will be tabled in Morocco.