Home » Netherlands: the mega-trial that exposed the power that criminal gangs have in the European country

Netherlands: the mega-trial that exposed the power that criminal gangs have in the European country

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Netherlands: the mega-trial that exposed the power that criminal gangs have in the European country

The largest criminal trial in the history of the Netherlands has come to a close this Tuesday with the sentencing of members of a drug cartel involved in a series of murders. The trial, which took place in a high-security court surrounded by police, resulted in the “undisputed” leader of the gang, Ridouan Taghi, being sentenced to life in prison for murder, firearms offenses, and aggravated robbery.

Two other men, known only as Said R and Mario R under Dutch law, were also sentenced to life in prison for their involvement in the crimes. Additionally, 17 other individuals received sentences ranging from life in prison to one year and nine months in prison.

The trial, named “Marengo” after the code word of the police operation that led to the arrests, has been described as historic in the Netherlands. It spanned almost six years, with 142 days of hearings and over 3,000 pages of documents presented in court.

Taghi, the leader of the criminal organization, operated with impunity for years before being apprehended in Dubai in 2019. Under his leadership, the gang carried out multiple murders and planned additional crimes, displaying a level of violence and ruthlessness that shocked the judges.

The proceedings were marked by a high level of security, with heavily armed police guarding the court and surveillance drones monitoring the area. Despite the fear and vulnerability felt by the victims’ surviving relatives, the court emphasized that none of them came forward to speak or file complaints.

One key witness in the trial, Nabil B, spoke out against the gang, despite facing personal threats and tragedy. His testimony played a crucial role in bringing the criminals to justice.

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The court acknowledged the dark tone cast over the proceedings by the murders of individuals close to Nabil B, which are now being examined in separate trials. The Marengo case, as described by Nabil B, is considered “the sickest and most poisoned trial ever held” in the Netherlands.

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