State witness Nabil B. will not testify against Ridouan Taghi in assassinations trial
State witness Nabil B. has opted out of his agreement with the Public Prosecution Service (OM) and no longer wants to testify in the Marengo trial for the time being, his lawyer said. According to B., the Justice Department did not comply with previous agreements regarding the safety of him and his family while pursuing their case against several people suspected of multiple assassinations, attempted assassinations, and assassination plots, Nu.nl reported.
The Marengo process is a trial of key organized crime members, including Ridouan Taghi who was sought for years by Dutch authorities. He was finally arrested in Dubai at the end of 2019.
The decision was announced by Nabil B.'s lawyer, Onno de Jong, during the hearing in the Amsterdam District Court on Wednesday. In a brief explanation, De Jong said that the situation between the OM and his client has been "very serious" for a long time. He accused the OM of failing to uphold their promise to ensure the security of B. and his family. Thus, B. no longer wanting to testify in the case.
"The Public Prosecution failed on every level," said De Jong. "The client has made it very clear: up to here and no further. Let the Prosecution come to the table to solve the problems." The statements he already provided can still be used in court. It was not clear how this decision will impact the OM's case.
Nabil B. was introduced as the OM's star witness against his wishes in March 2018. He told prosecutors it would put him and those he cared about in imminent danger if they made the public announcement. Nabil's brother, Reduan, was killed one week later in an ordered assassination. Shurandy S. was convicted and refused to say who gave the order.
The relationship appeared to improve despite several missteps by the OM. His attorney at the time, Derk Wiersum, reportedly told colleagues he was convinced neither the OM nor the police could adequately protect him. Before he managed to select his own private security solution, Wiersum was gunned down on the street in front of his wife before leaving for work.
Investigative journalist Peter R. de Vries was hired as Nabil B.'s spokesperson, ensuring the two could have anonymous unmonitored conversations. De Vries spoke this week of a serious breach of trust between the two sides, according to Nu.nl. He said there were multiple signs from Nabil B. and people around him which indicated this could happen but which triggered no response whatsoever.
“Agreements are systematically unfulfilled or there is simply no response. In addition, his family is treated as if they were criminals on probation," De Vries explained.
The Public Prosecution Service said in a response that it was very surprised by the move of Nabil B. and that it was only informed about it on Tuesday evening.
B. was set to testify on Wednesday in the case revolving around the murder of spy shop employee Ronald Bakker in Huizen in 2015.