Verdict in Ridouan Taghi organized crime trial expected in February 2024
The Amsterdam court will deliver its verdict in the Marengo criminal proceedings at the end of February next year. "Barring exceptional circumstances, the court will issue verdicts for all defendants on Tuesday, February 27, 2024," the court announced on Friday.
The Marengo trial has been going on for more than five years. The trial is centered on multiple assassinations and attempted homicides with several suspects, including alleged organized crime leader Ridouan Taghi and his right-hand man, Saïd R. Prosecutors have made their sentence recommendations, including a life sentence for Taghi and five co-defendants, and their attorneys have already responded with their own arguments.
The verdict was originally scheduled for October 20. However, earlier this summer, the court announced they had to postpone it “by several months,” citing “the complexity of the deliberations in the various cases.” The specific reasons behind this decision were not provided.
On Friday, the court heard the reply and the final statement from key prosecution witness Nabil B., concluding the examination of the criminal trial. However, procedural hearings are still scheduled, with the next one on October 6.
Last April, lawyer Inez Weski was arrested, leaving the main suspect, Taghi, and two co-defendants without representation. Taghi's three new lawyers requested a delay to study the case file, but the court had previously denied this. "The interests of the defendant in such a prolonged delay are outweighed by the interests of concluding the case at first instance without further delays,” the court said.
"This reinforces my client's belief that the verdict is already prepared," said Taghi's lawyer Michael Ruperti regarding the new date for the verdict. He stated that the end of February is "not feasible." "We won't have finished reviewing the case file by then."
Weski is suspected of participating in a criminal organization involved in international drug trafficking and money laundering, and for breaching confidentiality. She is believed to have shared information from Taghi from high-security unit (EBI) in Vught with his contacts outside. She was detained for some time.
Reporting by ANP