Criminal lawyer Inez Weski is portrayed in the media as Ridouan Taghi’s lawyer. But Taghi has more lawyers, including his cousin. “People often think that I am Taghi’s lawyer, but there are five or six who assist him in different areas,” Weski told NOS.
That is also allowed in the Netherlands. Defendants may have an unlimited number of legal counsel.
“That should be possible, because sometimes a criminal case and a civil case are ongoing at the same time. Or because the criminal case is so extensive that several lawyers are needed to divide the tasks among themselves. That is certainly not unusual,” says the spokesperson for NOVA.
Those lawyers all get access to the suspect in prison. Because the relationship between a lawyer and his client is confidential, the judiciary is also not allowed to listen in on or watch these conversations. That happened in the case of Taghi and his cousin, because the judiciary had a concrete suspicion since last summer.
According to the OM, Ridouan Taghi often spoke for hours with his cousin. They exchanged messages with each other by holding up papers. They were always separated by a glass wall in the EBI and would have communicated, among other things, about an outbreak, drug trafficking and data from prison staff.
That is why the lawyer is now suspected of involvement in money laundering, membership of a criminal organization and preparing a violent outbreak. If the suspicion is proven, he has not only violated the law, but also the code of conduct and professional rules of the legal profession. Justice suspects that Youssef T. acted as a conduit for Taghi, so that he could continue to deal in drugs.
“A lawyer is not allowed to communicate with the suspect,” the NOvA spokesperson clarifies. “He is allowed to convey a personal message to the suspect’s wife, but he may not bring out things that are in the interest of a suspect’s business activities. Or manage his client’s telephone or social media.”
‘Abuse of legal protection’
Minister Dekker alluded today to adjusting the rules for the (confidential) visit of lawyers to serious criminals: “This shows how much organized crime is engaged in undermining and abusing legal protection and the rules of the rule of law. Good lawyers and good legal aid are part of the rule of law, but if it is abused, we have to see what we can do about it.”