“Gang boss” Taghi without legal counsel again after lawyers quit

Ridouan Taghi on a photo issued by the police

Ridouan Taghi, the alleged gang leader on trial for his role in a string of killings, is again without representation after his trio of lawyers quit, citing problems with the Amsterdam court.

In a letter to the court and the public prosecutor, Michael Ruperti, Arthur van der Biezen and Sjoerd van Berge said they were stepping down because they were unable to mount a proper defence for their client, the AD reports.

The trio took over the case in June after Inez Weski was arrested for allegedly passing on messages from her client while he was in solitary confinement, breaching professional rules. “Taghi was never given an adequate defence again,” the lawyers said.

The group asked for a delay in the judgement, initially scheduled for October 2023, citing the extensive case file. But judges only moved the ruling to February 2024.

Taghi is the chief suspect in the so-called Marengo trial, in which 16 people are accused of orchestrating a series of revenge killings. The gang plotted to murder 13 people in an 18-month period, but seven of the attacks were not carried out, prosecutors say.

Prosecutors have asked a court to impose a life sentence on the 45-year-old and four of his co-defendants for arranging the murder of six underworld associates.

Three people linked to the case have been murdered already: the brother of the crown witness, his lawyer Derk Wiersum and his confidant, television crime reporter Peter R de Vries.

After Weski’s arrest, Taghi initially said he would defend himself before retaining counsel again.

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