25 years in prison for gunning down bystander on Amsterdam street

Forensic investigators at the scene of a fatal shooting on De Clercqstraat, 13 May 2015
Forensic investigators at the scene of a fatal shooting on De Clercqstraat, 13 May 2015. (Photo: Opsporing Verzocht )

The court in Amsterdam sentenced 34-year-old Quincy S. to 25 years in prison for preparing an assassination on a criminal from Almere and killing innocent bystander Youssef El Kahtaoui during a shooting in Amsterdam in May 2015. The Public Prosecutor had demanded life in prison against S., NU.nl reports.

Along with three others, S. prepared to assassinate underworld figure Mustafa El J. from Almere. They were caught with encrypted phones and weapons in a stolen BMW on the way to their target. A SWAT team managed to intervene in time to prevent the assassination. The three other suspects were previously sentenced to between five and seven years in prison.

The second case S. was tried for, revolves around a shootout in a sisha lounge on De Clercqstraat in Amsterdam in May 2015. S. and an accomplice were looking for a man they wanted to assassinate. Multiple shots were fired. One hit and killed 25-year-old Youssef El Kahtaoui. He had stopped his car at a traffic light in front of the sisha lounge. When he got out of the car, he was hit by a flying bullet. He died at the scene.

Other bullets hit a passing tram. But because all the tram's passengers lay down on the floor when they heard gunshots, no one was hurt. The prosecutors called it a "miracle" that there were no more victims in this shooting. 

DNA traces were found at the scene that led the police to S. During the shootout, S. was hit by a bullet that went straight through him. His DNA was found on the bullet. 

The court said that it saw similarities between S.'s case and cases in which life in prison was imposed, but still decided not to give S. life as the Prosecutor demanded. According to the court, life in prison is meant for perpetrators of whom it is known that temporary sentences no longer work, and S. hasn't served a previous long sentence. 

In the verdict the court specifically mentioned the suffering S. caused with his "deliberate and cold-blooded" killing of an innocent young man. According to the judge, S. gives the impression of being a "professional hitman" - "not hindered by a conscience when carrying out assassinations". This case seems to be related to the "wave of violence and assassinations in Amsterdam in recent years, in which human life seems to have no value whatsoever", the court said.