Nabil B., the key witness in the Marengo trial against Ridouan Taghi and co-defendants, is without lawyers. This was announced by the presiding judge on Tuesday morning. Lawyers Onno de Jong and Peter Schouten informed the court a few days ago that they are no longer B.’s lawyers.
By means of @Wim van de Pol
The reason for the split between the key witness and the lawyers has not been passed on to the court. Nabil B. said that Schouten and De Jong’s step had been ‘informed’ to him.
Nabil B. informed the court on Tuesday morning that he would like to provide an explanation, but that this should take place behind closed doors as far as he is concerned. “For security reasons,” said B.
The court then withdrew to deliberate on this request. The court later decided that B. may give an explanation about the break behind closed doors.
So nothing is known about the reason for the deposition of the defense. It is remarkable that the farewell between key witness and lawyers came about a week after the publication of the report of the Dutch Safety Board (OVV).
Also noteworthy is that the key witness says that he intends to continue as a witness. When asked if he will soon get a new lawyer, he did not want to answer ‘at the moment’.
When the interrogation was resumed, it immediately became apparent that the lack of a lawyer caused practical problems. The lawyers of suspect Saïd Razzouki should ask questions about the statements that B. made to the judiciary about the organization of Ridouan Taghi, but that did not happen.
Attorney Robert Dunsbergen expressed the fear that the right to question might be curtailed because the court could be more inclined to prevent questions to protect the witness and “an atmosphere is created of not intervening when in doubt.”
Lawyer Robert van ‘t Land said he wanted to be sure that the valuation of what Nabil B. says will be weighed in the same way as if he had had a lawyer. “We don’t want to find out in court.”
‘A bit of theoretical exercise,’ said the chairman.
Normally, courts try at all costs to avoid leaving a suspect without a lawyer. After all, a lawyer is the only one who only looks after his interests. In addition to being a suspect, Nabil B. is also a key witness. It is special that the court still wants to continue without a lawyer in this case. The chairman literally expressed the wish ‘to continue’ several times.
Lawyer van ‘t Land: ‘In any other case it would never have happened this way, but it did here.’
After the lunch break and consultation with Saïd Razzouki, the lawyers said that given the course of the interrogation, there was no point in asking further questions to the key witness. Therefore, the court adjourned the session.