The Public Prosecution Service is demanding a life sentence against Said R., the last arrested suspect in the Marengo trial. It is the sixth time that the OM is asking for life in the case against the group around Ridouan Taghi.
The Public Prosecution holds Said R. jointly responsible for three liquidations, plus a number of attempts and preparations. In the extra-security court in Amsterdam, the OM today spoke of “cold murders”, committed between 2015 and 2017.
According to the prosecutor, the violence was so brutal that only life imprisonment is appropriate. Not a single relative has dared to speak in court or file a claim for damages, the officer emphasized.
According to the Public Prosecution Service, 50-year-old Said R. was a close contact of Taghi. He would have given orders for liquidations, after which R. arranged foremen, collected information about the targets and kept Taghi informed of the progress via chat messages.
The OM extracts evidence against Said R. from intercepted messages and also uses statements from the key witness in the trial. The key witness described R. as “a kind of older brother” of Taghi. According to the Public Prosecution Service, R. had a leading role within the crime organization and also managed the weapons stock.
Said R. was a fugitive for a long time. The police finally managed to arrest him three years ago in the Colombian city of Medellín, where he was hiding.
Because his extradition to the Netherlands took a long time, the handling of his case in the Marengo trial was considerably delayed. The other suspects have heard their sentence before and their lawyers have also spoken.
Last year, the Public Prosecution Service demanded life imprisonment against Taghi and several other suspects. Long prison terms have also been requested for most of the others. Taghi’s lawyer believes that the Public Prosecution Service has forfeited the right to prosecution because investigation rules were allegedly violated. In addition, the defense believes that there is too little evidence and that an acquittal should therefore follow.
The court will rule in October.
Who is in the network around Taghi and the Marengo process? Watch it here:
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- “Colombia gives permission for the extradition of Marengo prime suspect Saïd R.”
- ‘Right hand’ Taghi from Colombia transferred to the Netherlands