Lawyers of crown witness Nabil B. challenge court in Marengo trial

Reporter Saskia Belleman is present in the court of Amsterdam. Read her live report at the bottom of this post:

According to lawyer Peter Schouten, the court shows bias by rejecting the request of Nabil B. for personal, medical reasons to explain why he cannot declare Friday as a suspect, nor as a key witness.

The challenge followed a chaotic day in the criminal process. It would be about the mistaken murder of Hakim Changachi in January 2017 in Utrecht Overvecht. He was mistaken for the criminal Khalid H. who lived in the same flat.

That mistaken murder was reason for Nabil B. to defect to the side of justice and to become a key witness. The deal with the Public Prosecution Service means that he will open up about homicides in which he himself was involved and about the involvement of the other suspects, in exchange for a halving of his sentence.

Since May 26, Nabil B. has not shown up for the hearings. He is at odds with the Public Prosecution Service’s Witness Protection Team over his girlfriend’s security.

Medical reasons

He is a suspect in the Changachi murder case. This morning, like the other suspects, he was obliged to appear in the court bunker in Amsterdam Osdorp.

According to his lawyer Onno de Jong, the medical reasons that Nabil B. wants to explain are so sensitive to privacy that this is not possible in public. The lawyers for the other suspects have long been annoyed by the impossibility of being able to question the key witness directly and think that the medical argument “is dragged by the hair. They are opportunity arguments.”

The court finds that statements that Nabil B. wants to make behind closed doors may also be of interest to the other suspects, and decided that an explanation of his medical condition should therefore take place in public, or at a later date. The process will certainly continue until 2022.

Lawyer Peter Schouten accused the court of double standards. A similar request from main suspect Ridouan Taghi was previously honored.

challenge room

A challenge chamber must now decide whether the challenge is justified. In theory, the criminal cases against the other suspects can continue as usual, but that is unlikely because they are intertwined with those against Nabil B. In addition, Nabil B. as a key witness made incriminating statements against them and he should be able to be questioned about this.

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