NFI decrypted new messages from PGP-BlackBerry of key witness

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NFI decrypted new messages from PGP-BlackBerry of key witness

Key witness Nabil B. chatted extensively with the Razzouki brothers from detention at the end of 2017, but not with Ridouan Taghi, as he had previously stated. This is evident from an official report that was added to the Marengo file by the Public Prosecution Service last week. Striking in these chats are messages from Saïd Razzouki in which he says that neither he nor the key witness had anything to do with one of the murders in Marengo: a mistaken murder in Utrecht on January 12, 2017.

By @Wim van de Pol

The Public Prosecution Service states that (among others) Ridouan Taghi, Mohamed and Saïd Razzouki, and key witness Nabil B. were responsible for that murder. According to the justice department, B. arranged a car for the murderers. Taghi and the two brothers are sentenced to life in prison for these and other facts, while Nabil B.’s sentence is ten years in prison.

Telephone

The now readable chats were sent in the period October to mid-December 2017. That was the time when Nabil B. had already made secret statements, but before the moment he signed his deal with the Public Prosecution Service (on December 27, 2017). .

In 2019, B. admitted to using this phone during a public court hearing. Until now, not all chats on that phone had been made readable.

Mistake

On the late evening of January 14, 2017, Nabil B. was arrested with a weapon in Amsterdam South. That was agreed work. He had decided to become a key witness.

A few days earlier, a member of a notorious criminal family had been murdered in Utrecht. That was a mistake, someone else from the street (a certain “Imo”) should have been shot dead. According to Nabil B., this attack was carried out by Taghi’s group and he had arranged a car for the group of murderers.

Notorious family

After the murder, B. had an unpleasant conversation with a family member of the man who had been accidentally shot. This infamous family turned out to have received the information that B. had been involved with a car that had been used in the mistaken liquidation.

On the one hand, B. was afraid of this family, but at the same time he was also afraid of Ridouan Taghi’s group. The family spoke about the murder with investigators. Taghi could suspect B. of having provided information to the affected family.

Weird story

B. felt so trapped that he thought going to the police and the judiciary was the only solution, that’s his story.

He was afraid that his arrest would create distrust among Taghi’s group and the Razzouki brothers, because it was a strange story. Why would he walk around Amsterdam with a firearm at night and then happen to be arrested?

B. was in custody for the firearm in 2017 and was in great stress. There were already rumors on the streets in Utrecht that he had become a key witness. He was concerned about the safety of his family.

PGPSafe

In mid-2017, investigators received cracked PGP chats from the PGPSafe server in Costa Rica. The police obtained messages sent by Ridouan Taghi, Nabil B. and the Razzouki brothers.

Due to the content of those messages, Nabil B. was formally suspected of involvement in the mistaken liquidation in Utrecht in September 2017. In addition to the firearm, he was also placed in pre-trial detention for that liquidation.

In this way he was able to read the PGP messages from the PGPSafe server that had been cracked by the police. He read what evidence was available against him, Taghi and the Razzouki brothers.

‘Headache’

But B. read even more disturbing messages, which increased his fear for his safety and that of his family.

Taghi’s messages showed that he and the Razzouki brothers were aware that Nabil B. had had a conversation with the infamous family. From the PGP chats, B. concluded that if he became a ‘headache’ for the group, Taghi wanted him to be killed because he had talked to the Utrecht family or to the police.

Threat

B. says that he then wanted to know whether the threat against him came only from Taghi or whether he also had to fear for his friend Mohamed Razzouki and his brother Saïd.

He says that that is why he asked for a phone through his girlfriend. Mohamed Razzouki arranged for him to have a PGP BlackBerry in his cell a week later (read here how that happened, B. also had an iPhone in his cell, with which he communicated with his family).

Readable

Only now have all messages exchanged with that BlackBerry phone between October and December 2017 been made completely readable by the Dutch Forensic Institute (NFI).

It appears that Ridouan Taghi did not participate in these chats, and that no messages from Taghi were forwarded to B.. Nabil B. previously stated that he had chatted with Taghi (‘well at that moment Taghi came online’) .

According to the police, the contact list only contains the users “Che” (an alias of Mohamed Razzouki) and “Steen&Pataya”, an alias used by Saïd Razzouki.

Colombia

B. said that his friend Mohamed Razzouki came to the fore during those chats because he denied that Taghi had made threatening comments about him (B. could have already read this in the PGP messages).

The NFI has now also deciphered chats between B. and Saïd Razzouki.

B. makes an effort to convince Steen&Pataya, probably Saïd Razzouki, that the PGP chats he has read are incriminating for him and for the group: ‘Bradda (Mohamed Razzouki, ed.) has small (Taghi, ed.) helped with Imo case. They have all these conversations, brother. I have read the file, haven’t I?’ Razzouki answers, probably from Colombia:

‘Then they have nothing from you, you have done nothing, just sold that car (…) you are innocent’

The two discuss the possibility that the Utrecht family will accuse them to the police of the mistaken murder. Saïd Razzouki is reported to have said:

‘Then they lie, you know that has nothing to do with shit, you don’t, I don’t and Bradda doesn’t’

We don’t know if Saïd Razzouki was telling the truth at this point. But if so, it could indicate that the brothers Razzouki and Nabil B. may not have been directly involved in the mistaken liquidation and the plans for the attack on “Imo”.

Carbon copy

Nabil B. has said that the chats with the BlackBerry were the deciding factor for him: he now knew that the brothers lied to him about Taghi’s apparent plan to kill him if he became a ‘headache’.

His decision was made and he signed the key witness agreement with the Public Prosecution Service. What he did not know was that the Public Prosecution Service had already used its secret statements in the case against Mohamed Razzouki before the deal was signed. The Public Prosecution Service thereby endangered his family, and he would probably not have agreed to this.

Nabil B. also did not know that the judiciary had decided that within a few months it would be known that he was a key witness. A month later his brother was murdered in Amsterdam-Noord.

Last year, the Dutch Safety Board issued a scathing assessment of the conduct of the Public Prosecution Service.

February 27

The court’s plan was to rule on the Marengo trial on February 27. Last week the court suddenly received a series of documents with new information. Including new findings about the murder of crime blogger Martin Kok.

According to the court, it is not yet clear whether these documents will postpone the verdict.

Also see:

About the murder of Martin Kok: ‘Done, get rid of that dog’

How the PGP phone ended up in the cell of the key witness

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