Sep 22, 2023 at 07:52
The monster Marengo trial is approaching its denouement today. The last word will be given to key witness Nabil B. on Friday, after which the substantive handling of the criminal case, which has dragged on for years, will be completed. A court decision will be made in early 2024.
After the completion of the substantive hearing, a number of procedural hearings are planned in the coming period.
The Marengo trial revolves around multiple murders and attempted murders. In the summer of 2022, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) demanded life imprisonment against main suspect Ridouan Taghi and five co-suspects.
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The evidence against the suspects comes, among other things, from intercepted messages about criminal acts from the suspects’ PGP phones. These are phones that can send encrypted messages. The case came to light after key witness Nabil B. reported himself to the judicial authorities. Because he has made incriminating statements about several suspects, he receives a reduced sentence. He was therefore sentenced to ten years in prison.
A week after it became known in March 2018 that B. had come forward as a key witness, his brother was shot dead. In 2019, his lawyer Derk Wiersum was shot dead and in July 2021 his confidant Peter R. de Vries. These murders are not officially part of Marengo, but are seen as an integral part of the process.
Judgment no later than early 2024
This spring, lawyers Onno de Jong and Peter Schouten dropped B.’s defense, without giving a reason. Earlier this month it became clear that De Jong is now the lawyer for the key witness again. That step is also not explained.
In April of this year there was a new, unexpected twist in the case. Inez Wesk, who assisted Taghi and two co-suspects as a lawyer, was then arrested. This created a situation where three suspects were left without a lawyer. They now have new lawyers.
Taghi’s new lawyers asked for a nine-month postponement of the trial in order to read the criminal file. The judge did not agree with that. The verdict in the Marengo trial will take place no later than early 2024.