Mafia boss sentenced to life in prison in the Netherlands

Three times life imprisonment: This is the verdict against the Mocro Mafia. It was one of the longest trials in Dutch history.

The verdict in the Marengo trial against members of the Mocro mafia was pronounced in Amsterdam on Tuesday. Three defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment – including the gang’s boss, Ridouan Taghi. The remaining defendants received prison sentences of between one and 29 years.

Accompanied by the strictest security measures, the judges announced the verdicts in the high-security court “De Bunker” in Amsterdam. Several defendants did not appear, including Taghi.

At almost six years, this was the most extensive and spectacular murder trial in the country’s history. It is also directly related to the brutal murder of crime reporter Peter R. de Vries in 2021 – but the verdict is not due to be announced until the summer.

The judges therefore remain below the demands of the public prosecutor. This had called for life sentences for six of the 17 people. Among other things, he was charged with participating in a criminal organization, six counts of murder and four counts of attempted murder. The public prosecutor’s office had demanded prison sentences of between five and 26 years for the other eleven defendants.

The Mocro Mafia is considered one of the largest and most influential gangs in the illegal drug business. The name is derived from the Dutch slang term for Moroccans, as many members have Moroccan roots.

Life sentence for Ridouan Taghi and two others in Marengo trial

Ridouan Taghi must go to prison for life. The Amsterdam court determined this in the much-discussed Marengo trial. In addition to Taghi, two more suspects have been sentenced to life in prison: Saïd R. and Mario R.

The judge ruled today after a trial lasting almost six years and 142 sitting days. The case concerns six murders committed between 2015 and 2017, four attempted murders and preparations for even more liquidations.

Seventeen suspects are on trial in the Marengo trial, with Ridouan Taghi as the main suspect. The Public Prosecution Service (OM) had demanded a life sentence against him. The court concluded that Taghi was the “undisputed leader” of a criminal organization. According to the judge, he used “extreme violence to frighten people”. And the “terror exerted by him” was effective, the judge stated.

According to the judge, it is likely that Taghi will have murders carried out again if he were released. “To retaliate and protect society, only a life sentence is appropriate.”

The Public Prosecution Service had also demanded life in prison against Mohamed R., Mao R. and Achraf B. The latter will serve more than 29 years in prison. Mohamed R. gets 27 years and Mao R. 15 years.

Key witness

Important during the trial were the statements of key witness Nabil B. He was given a prison sentence of 10 years: a significant reduction in exchange for the incriminating statements he made about his co-suspects.

A prison sentence of 20 years was actually reasonable for B., the judge stated. But, “You fulfilled your part of the agreement.” Therefore, according to the judge, a reduction of the sentence by half was justified.

The sentences for the remaining suspects range from approximately two years to 23 years in prison. These sentences are all lower than the Public Prosecution Service had demanded, partly because the trial “took too long” according to the judge. The trial should have been completed after four years, the judge said.

Three murders were committed during the Marengo trial. These liquidations are not part of the trial, but it is generally assumed that these murders are related to the statements of key witness Nabil B.

A week after Nabil B. was announced as a key witness, his brother was shot dead. In September 2019, his lawyer Derk Wiersum was murdered, and in the summer of 2021, Peter R. de Vries was shot dead. He was a confidante of the key witness.


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