Amsterdam gang leader gets 18 years for attempted assassination

The court in Amsterdam sentenced Amsterdam gang leader Naoufal F. to 18 years in prison on Thursday. The court considers it proven that he ordered a failed assassination attempt on Peter R. in Diemen in 2015, NU.nl reports.

A large part of the evidence against F. was gathered from encrypted PGP phones, which the Netherlands Forensic Institute managed to break into. The police found encrypted messages on the phones between the men involved in the attempted assassination. They made regular contact with an email address starting with CWX. The court is convinced that F. is the person that used this email address.

The court considers it proven that F. was the one who sent a team of gunmen after R. from Ireland. He was arrested in Ireland in April 2016. "The encouraging messages he sent to one of the spotters show how eager he was to have the victim killed, he did not care that it would happen on a public road, possibly with danger to others", the court said in its ruling. 

The men who carried out the attempted assassination were sentenced to up to 20 years in prison last year. 

This case included extensive discussion about the validity of evidence obtained from the seizure of Nijmegen company Ennetcom's servers in Canada. Messages on the encrypted PGP phones were sent with the Ennectom network. F.'s lawyer Inez Weski objected to this evidence. According to her, the servers were illegally confiscated and the enormous database was illegally searched. The judge did not agree. 

The Amsterdam court considering the evidence gained from these servers as valid is a victory for the Public Prosecutor. The Prosecutor believes that more assassinations can be solved with information from these servers. When making the sentence demand against F. in March, the Prosecutor said that the encrypted emails and messages literally gave "a glimpse into the heads" of the perpetrators. "We sometimes suspect how things happen, but we can really see it now."

 

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