Crime: Three life sentences for drug gang in Netherlands

Three life sentences for drug gang in Netherlands

Masked and armed Dutch police officers guard a transport carrying some of the suspects as they arrive in front of the high-security court building in Amsterdam. photo

© Peter Dejong/AP/dpa

It is the largest murder trial in the Netherlands to date: 17 men from a notorious drug gang are charged. An ex-accomplice weighs heavily on her.

In the mammoth trial against a notorious Dutch woman The court sentenced the three main defendants to life imprisonment. On Tuesday, the judges also imposed the maximum sentence on the alleged gang boss, Ridouan Taghi (46), for several contract killings. The penalties are slightly lower than the prosecution had demanded. She had requested life imprisonment a total of six times. The remaining 14 defendants were sentenced to prison.

The judges announced the verdicts in the high-security court in Amsterdam, accompanied by the strictest security measures. Several defendants did not appear, including Taghi.

At almost six years, this was the most extensive and spectacular murder trial in the country’s history. It is also directly related to the brutal murder of crime reporter Peter R. de Vries in 2021 – but the verdict is not due to be announced until the summer.

In this trial, 17 members of one of the most notorious drug gangs, the so-called Mocro Mafia, were accused. They were accused of, among other things, six contract killings and four attempted murders from 2015 to 2017. The defendants remained mostly silent during the trial. It is certain that they will appeal the verdicts.

The focus of the prosecution was the testimony of a key witness. Nabil B., formerly an accomplice of Taghi, unpacked in 2017 in exchange for a reduced sentence. He has now been sentenced to ten years in prison. But his statement led to an unprecedented wave of violence by organized crime. The key witness’s brother, his lawyer and also his confidant, the prominent crime reporter Peter R. de Vries, were murdered. These murders were the subject of separate proceedings.


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