Prosecutor demands life against Taghi, co-suspects in assassinations trial
Update 2:30 p.m. - Article updated with more details
On Tuesday, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) demanded life in prison against Ridouan Taghi in the extensive Marengo assassinations trial. According to the OM, the 44-year-old Taghi is responsible for six murders and four attempted murders, among other things. “He was the head of an organization dedicated to committed murders,” the prosecutor said. “He was the one who made all the decisions.”
The OM also demanded life sentences against four co-defendants. This concerns the brothers Mao and Mario R. (47 and 42), Mohamed R. (40), and Achraf B. (29). According to the OM, they were involved in multiple murders or attempted murders and were ranked high in Taghi’s organization. The sentence demand against another alleged accomplice of Taghi, Said R. (Mohamed R.’s older brother), will be made later in the criminal case.
About Taghi, the prosecutor said: “All the lines of the different murders converge on him. He makes all the decisions, and they are about life and death. Taghi has left a trail of devastation and grief and exercised total control and terror.” According to the judiciary, he was “particularly persistent - once on a hit list, someone couldn’t get off it.” The sentence demands against the other suspects varied from almost six years to over 26 years in prison.
The indictment, which lasted nine days, was the preliminary climax to the massive trial, which began in March 2018 with a first introductory hearing. Then the judiciary announced it had a key witness - Nabil B., who said he belonged to Taghi’s gang and regretted it. He made a series of statements against his former accomplices in exchange for a reduced sentence. The OM demanded ten years in prison against him on Tuesday.
Less than a week after that first hearing in March 2018, B.’s brother Reduan was shot dead. In September 2019, B.’s lawyer Derk Wiersum was murdered. And in July last year, Peter R. de Vries was shot dead after he acted as advisor and confidant to B. These three murders are not part of the Marengo trial.
Reporting by ANP