28 years on appeal for murder of key witness' brother

The Court of Appeals sentenced 41-year-old Shurandy S. to 28 years in prison for the murder of Reduan B., the brother of key witness Nabil B., in Amsterdam last year. The court called S. "extremely cold, calculating, and merciless" in its ruling, NOS reports. 

S. was previously sentenced to 20 years in prison. The appeal sentence is equal to what the Public Prosecutor demanded. 

Reduan B. was shot dead at his business in Amsterdam-Noord on March 29th, 2018. According to the Public Prosecutor, the man was gunned down because his brother agreed to turn witness and testify against the drug-centered criminal organization allegedly run by Ridouan Taghi. Nabil B.'s lawyer Derk Wiersum was also murdered earlier this year. 

Shurandy S. was paid 100 thousand euros to commit the assassination. He confessed to shooting Reduan, but claims that he did not know who the victim was.

In the first ruling in January, the court said that there was not enough evidence to prove that S. knew he was murdering a key witness' brother. It was therefore not taken into account in the sentencing, which was why S. was only sentenced to 20 years in prison. 

But according to the Court of Appeal, the fact that S. decided to remain silent so much of the trial means that it is impossible to tell what exactly S. was and was not aware of. The exact motive is also only "of secondary importance", because S. has caused "irreparable and immense" suffering, particularly to Reduan's young children, the judge said. S.'s decision to remain silent also made it difficult to determine whether he would murder again, the Court of Appeal said. 

The Appeals Court also did not believe S.'s claim that he was confused at the time of the murder, because S. himself stated that he had agreed to commit the murder months before Reduan was killed.