Murder of key witness' brother ordered in 2017, suspect says

The man suspected of murdering Reduan B., brother of key witness Nabil B., was approached to commit the assassination in the autumn of last year, he stated. According to Shurandy S., he was only told who the target was two days before the murder, and did not know that the target was the brother of a key witness, was revealed during the first introductory session against S. on Thursday, reports.

Last month the Public Prosecutor announced that the 40-year-old man from Hilversum confessed to killing Reduan B. at his company in Amsterdam on March 29th. Reduan's brother Nabil B. is a key witness in a number of assassination cases in Amsterdam and Utrecht. Reduan was murdered less than a week after the Prosecutor announced that it had a key witness.

S. told the authorities that he was commissioned in January to rent a garage box where the getaway car could be parked. Two days before the assassination, he received information about the victim - a photograph, work address and working hours, he said. He was also told how to carry out the assassination. He claims that he did not know his target was a key witness's brother.

The Public Prosecutor said in court that he has no doubt that Reduan B.'s death was a "horrible reaction" to his brother turning witness. But S. is refusing to say anything about other people involved, and who ordered him to commit the assassination. 

S.'s lawyers fiercely criticized the Public Prosecutor in court on Thursday for eavesdropping on a journalist and one of his sources in this case, without following the proper procedures. Firstly, the Prosecutor caused a major infringement on the right to source protection, the lawyers said. And then the Prosecutor destroyed the recording, despite an order from the examining magistrate not to do so. "Any relieving material for our client was therefore removed and can never be retrieved", one lawyer said, according to the newspaper. 

The lawyer was referring to possible proof that his client did not know he was killing the brother of a key witness. "Not having this knowledge will contribute to the severity of his sentence." According to the lawyer, the Prosecutor deliberately wanted to keep this recorded conversation out of the trial.

But according to the Public Prosecutor, the conversation, which happened the day after the murder, was never listened to and the content thereof is not known to anyone. "So the fact that the examining magistrate states that potentially exonerating material was removed is incomprehensible and speculative", the Prosecutor said.