Taghi, relative planned high security prison break with notes: Prosecutor
On Thursday, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) showed images in the criminal case against Youssef T., the lawyer and family relation of Ridouan Taghi, to show how the two men "covertly" and "in a cunning manner" communicated in the high-security prison (EBI) in Vught. Taghi is in custody there. Youssef visited him numerous times last year, presenting himself as Taghi's lawyer.
T. was arrested on a visit to Taghi in the EBI on October 8 last year. The two men were filmed during the visits without their knowledge. In the EBI, detainees and visitors are separated by a glass wall, even if the visitor is their lawyer. The images show that the two communicated through written notes that they held up to each other and then scratched out. According to the OM, T. also showed screenshots of chats on his iPad to Taghi.
T.'s lawyers were surprised by the OM's recently announced image presentation. T. initially wanted to come to court for the interim hearing but decided not to at the last minute because, according to his lawyers, he doesn't want to be part of a "show trial." The lawyers asked for and were given more time by the court to respond to the presentation. There will be another hearing next Friday afternoon. T. may be in court then.'
Ridouan Taghi is the main suspect in the extensive Marengo assassinations trial and has been in the EBI since his arrest in December 2019. The OM believes his family member, Youssef, helped him plan a violent outbreak during their numerous visits. Taghi's sons and alleged mafia head Raffaele Imperiale, among others, were involved, according to the authorities.
T. is accused of acting as "middle man" to keep his cousin's large-scale drug trade and money laundering going.
Taghi is also a suspect in the investigation into his family member, but has not yet been charged. Earlier this year, he refused to be interrogated as a suspect.
T. is no longer a lawyer. He was removed from the bar at his own request. He has been in custody since his arrest. The court denied a request to release him. According to the court, the suspicions are strong enough, and it concerns "a very serious case."
Reporting by ANP