Why there are problems ahead of the criminal trial of Ridouan T.
Criminal trial of Ridouan T
On Monday, the marengo criminal trial, with Ridouan T. as the main suspect, will resume. Once again, it threatens not to be about the content, but about all the problems that are going on around key witness Nabil B. What exactly is going on?
The problems had been going on for months, but became concrete on May 26 with the key witness’s announcement that he no longer wanted to explain. First, the security around his person and that of his family had to be better arranged, otherwise he would be silent.
Nabil B. has an agreement with the State, in which he receives a penalty discount in exchange for his statements when it comes to the penalty requirement. The Justice Department has ruled that she would normally demand 24 years for the facts the key witness is suspected of. That would be 12 years now. B. has now suspended this agreement.
There were no immediate consequences for the process. The court chose the path of least resistance. That was to continue discussing the liquidations in which, according to the court, B.’s statements do not play a major or decisive role. In addition, the trial is still long and B. could always be heard later. The need was lacking, it was said.
Partly because the defendants invoked their right to remain silent, the murders of Ronald Bakker (2015), Abderrahim Belhadj (2016), Samir Erraghib (2016), Martin Kok (2016) and the failed assassination of Khalid B. (2016) and preparation of the murder of Mustapha F. (2016) were dealt with quickly.
criminal trial of Ridouan T
Problem has only gotten bigger
The situation is different now that the trial has begun in the handling of the mistaken murder of Hakim Changachi in 2017 and the preparation of the murder of the actual target, Khalid H. The key witness is also a suspect in these cases and must therefore appear mandatory.
But again, there’s a problem. Regardless of the situation that still arises between the PROSECUTION and the key witness, B.’s lawyers stated that there are ‘very pressing personal circumstances’. This would be a medical situation of such a nature that B. is unable to declare as a suspect or as a witness. The difference is that as a suspect you don’t have to explain, but as a key witness you have to answer questions.
B.’s lawyers suggested explaining all this behind closed doors, including in the presence of the co-defendants’ lawyers. Until now, these lawyers had reacted mostly to the absence of the key witness. But with this proposal from B.’s defense, the limit had been reached.
Once again, the key witness would be kept away from them. It was time for him to fulfil his obligation and that is to explain, was the clear opinion.
The court again chose not to rush things. B. could also explain later, because the process is still a long time. The request for an explanation behind closed doors was rejected, resulting in a request for objection from the key witness.
A so-called appeals court ruled Tuesday that there was no bias in the court and the trial could resume monday with the same judges.
Situation seems unchanged (criminal trial of Ridouan T)
That hearing is again intended to discuss the cases involving Changachi and Khalid H., but there is little doubt that it will first deal with the peripheral issues. The situation is unchanged.
One of the key witness’s lawyers said he did not want to comment on the medical situation but would address the court on Monday.
Meanwhile, the co-defendants’ lawyers sharpen the knives, because an ongoing impasse will not be accepted. They suspect a tactical game of the key witness, among other things to stay away from the contents of an iPhone that B. had in jail for a period of time.
Police have also managed to retrieve the deleted messages and the court has ruled that the defence can view them. It is about communication with which the lawyers would like to confront B.
In the background, the video of Martin Kok that was found on yet another phone belonging to B. NU.nl also slumbered the news that those images have been in the possession of the Public Prosecutor’s Office for some time, but the key witness has not yet been confronted with the video.
Lawyers are particularly curious whether the key witness knew more about Kok’s impending murder than has been told so far.
How long will the agreement last?
In the meantime, the sustainability of the agreement between the key witness and the Public Prosecutor also plays a role. How long is the Justice Department willing to keep it afloat at all costs? The statements B. has made so far remain useful for the evidence. In addition, the decrypted PGP messages are at least as important and perhaps more important when it comes to the case against Ridouan T.
B.’s lawyers have already indicated that the key witness considers the safety of his family more important than the agreement. Now that the medical problems have also been added, the question that will be asked on Monday is: what next?
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