Trial on torture murder by drug gang begins

The trial for the torture murder of 33-year-old Hilal Makhtout began at Tongeren Assizes Court on Friday morning. A total of 13 defendants are being tried in the largest assizes trial ever held in Limburg.

In March 2019, Hilal Makhtout was kidnapped from his home in Genk. He was allegedly tied up, burned with a lit cigarette and a stun gun and beaten with a hammer. His body was found in a crawl space under a holiday home in Rochefort.

The reason for his death was the disappearance of a consignment of 3 kg of cocaine and the emptying of a safe containing the proceeds of drug trading.

The 13 defendants are on trial for gang violence and torture resulting in death, without intent to kill, but causing death unintentionally. The maximum sentence is 30 years' imprisonment.

A total of 84 witnesses will testify in the first three weeks of the trial, while prosecutors and lawyers will present their cases in the final week. The aim is to reach a verdict by 22 December.


#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO JILL DELSAUX

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