Liege starts top gangster Marcel Habran trial
Top gangster Marcel Habran stands accused for eight murders and several armed raids.3 September 2008
LIEGE -- Top Liege gangster Marcel Habran stands on trial Wednesday for eight murders and several armed hold ups, along with 11 other defendants.
Habran is seen as the godfather of organised crime in the eastern city of Liege.
The 75-year-old who was previously in jail for over 20 years is being charged for an armed raid on a Brinks money transport in Waremme in 1998 and eight other murders in 2001.
In 1998, the robbers stopped the Brinks’ van carrying money on the motorway, and killed the driver and one of the guards before fleeing the scene without any loot.
Witnesses say the failed robbery led to a bitter dispute among members of the Habran gang. Several gangsters started talking to the police. One of the witnesses, a Habran member, was later murdered.
In February 2001, a series of settling of accounts started in the organised crime scene in Liège and left eight people dead.
Only one of the defendants has admitted his involvement.
There is no material evidence against the criminals, only witnesses’ accounts. Witnesses do enjoy judicial protection, but several fear for their lives.
To reduce the risk of assassination, unprecedented security precautions are in place at the Liege Law Court.
[flandersnews.be / Expatica]