A key state witness in the trial of Dutch gangster and Kinahan Cartel ally Ridouan Taghi has refused to testify in court amid fears that not enough is being done to protect his family.
abil Bakkali didn’t appear at Amsterdam’s top security De Bunker courtroom this week, where Taghi and associates are the defendants in what’s been dubbed the Marengo Trial.
The Public Prosecutor’s star witness said that previously made agreements have not been adhered to over his safety and that of his family’s.
The former gang member has been a key witness in the investigation and provided several statements to police on the workings of the Dutch-Moroccan drugs trafficking gang.
But the trial has been thrown into doubt by Bakkali’s dramatic decision this week, although his lawyer said that the authorities had been warned well in advance to sort out the protection issues.
The decision was announced by lawyer, Onno de Jong, during a hearing at the Amsterdam District Court on Wednesday.
De Jong said that the situation between the public prosecutor and his client has been “very serious” for a long time.
He accused the prosecutor of failing to uphold their promise to ensure the security of Bakkali and his family.
“The Public Prosecution failed on every level,” said De Jong. “The client has made it very clear: up to here and no further. Let the Prosecution come to the table to solve the problems.”
“The issues that our client has in the discussions with the Public Prosecution about the safety of him and his family are so serious that he does not consider it responsible to continue on this path.”
The statements he already provided to the investigation can still be used in court.
Bakkali had been due to testify on Wednesday in the case revolving around the murder of spy shop employee Ronald Bakker in 2015.
Nabil Bakkali’s identity had been revealed against his wishes in March 2018 and just one week later his brother Reduan was assassinated.
He also accused the authorities of a cock-up when his photograph was accidentally published and when threats were made to him while in protective custody
Then in September 2019 his lawyer at the time, Derk Wiersum, was shot dead outside his home as he left for work.
Taghi had been a fugitive from Dutch authorities for years until his arrest in late 2019 in Dubai, where he had previously been a guest at Daniel Kinahan’s wedding in the seven-star Burj al Arab hotel in 2017.
At one point in the investigation police almost arrested Kinahan thinking he was Taghi when he went to meet the Dutch man’s lawyers in a Dubai hotel.
Taghi along with 16 of his gang members is facing charges relating to seven murders, including that of another lawyer.
He had successfully operated in the shadows and was unknown to police until a cache of weapon were discovered in 2015.
The success of Canadian cops in hacking the Ennetcom encrypted messaging system also gave international police vital intelligence on the gang’s operations.
At that time Taghi was closely linked to the Kinahan Cartel on the Costa del Sol and one of his key lieutenants, Naoufal Fassih, was later discovered in a Dublin safe house.
His Chilean business partner, Richard Eduardo Riquelme Vega, known as `El Rico’, plotted to break Fassih out of Portlaoise Prison.
Known as Mr Cous-Cous, Fassih was extradited back to Holland where he is now serving a 16-year-sentence.
Hundreds of pages of documents relating to Taghi’s arrest in Dubai, which formed part of the investigation, will not be opened during the trial after legal argument.
The trial is focused on a string of murders that began in 2012 and which in 2014 saw the killing of rival gang boss Gwenette Martha.
Months later Samir ‘Scarface’ Bouyakhhrichan was shot dead on the Spanish Costa with Naoufal Fassih at his side.
His killing cleared the path for Taghi to take control of operations.
As the murders continued in Amsterdam, a surveillance operation by police led to a weapons cache of 86 guns and nine hand grenades being seized,
Former gang member Nabil Bakkali took his opportunity to become a state witness sparking a manhunt for Taghi that only came to end with his Dubai arrest.
Last Friday the court heard evidence in relation to the 2016 murder of Appie Belhadj (29) who was shot dead at an Amsterdam flat.
Belhadj had been lured to the apartment that night with the promise that there would be three women available for him to have sex with. One man is already serving an 18-year-sentnce for his role in that killing.
Belhadj had been blamed by Taghi for passing information to the police, according the text messages from the Ennetcom service.
Last Thursday evidence was heard about two people who supplied the Ennetcom phones to the gang members in Holland and who are also facing prosecution.