The Amsterdam court has rejected the recusal requests from the defense of Ridouan T. and co-suspect Mao R.. She announced this on Wednesday afternoon. The judges in the case are not biased, is the opinion.
by Joost van der Wegen
Ridouan Taghi’s lawyers retaliated against the court on October 6 at a preliminary hearing, because they no longer have confidence in the current judges, after they rejected a request to hear Commando Sil A. as a witness.
Sil A. (44), the commando who is suspected of arms and drug trafficking and is linked by the judiciary to Ridouan Taghi’s network, was himself involved in plans to eliminate Taghi in Dubai in 2019, according to his lawyer Michael Ruperti.
Shortly after his arrest in February 2022, A. is said to have said that in 2019 he was only involved in the preparation of the secret plan to pick up and possibly eliminate Taghi in Dubai or Iran. The plan is said to have been discussed with, among others, employees of the secret services. The Public Prosecution Service announced in April this year that ‘at no time was it considered to kidnap, disable or even murder Taghi’.
His lawyers wanted to know the details.
Justice states that the lawyers themselves argued that it was a so-called ‘assassination squad’ to eliminate Taghi, and not the Public Prosecution Service.
The court found that interviewing the witness, a public prosecutor, was not necessary for the suspect. Because there would never have been literal talk of killing Taghi or kidnapping him. It was not even clear whether this had been discussed at all.
On October 9, 2023, Ridouan T.’s defense also submitted an additional written request for disqualification. They stated that they had not been given the opportunity to say anything about their client’s detention. During a final hearing, the court suspended the Taghi case and decided to extend the pre-trial detention for at least ninety days. The lawyers believe that they should have been able to take a position on the continued detention.
The case of suspect Ridouan Taghi was postponed due to the recusal requests.
The suspect’s request for recusal is now rejected, because the refusal to hear another witness is a so-called judicial ‘interim decision’, which cannot be a reason for a recusal. The recusal chamber does not consider that the fact that the defense was no longer allowed to speak about Taghi’s pre-trial detention is a sign of bias or ‘grumpiness’ about the recusal, as his counselors interpret it.
The court states that the previous rejections by the court do not rule out that arguments from the defense may still be discussed during the course of the trial. Read the court’s ruling here.
Mao R.’s defense also submitted a written request for recusal on October 11, 2023, because she could not hear witnesses and could not plead as she wanted. Here too, the court found that there was no bias.
Due to all the troubles and previous requests for recusal in the Marengo trial, the previously set date for the verdict of October 20 could not be met. The verdicts in the liquidation process are scheduled for February 27, 2024.