Mallorca’s Hells Angels trial awaits a verdict in Spain

MADRID (AP) — The trial of 49 alleged members of the Hells Angels bikers gang in the Spanish holiday island of Mallorca, most of them charged with offenses linked to organized crime, has been adjourned to await a verdict, after three weeks of sessions in Madrid’s High Court.

Observation/Reaction by Black Dragon

00:00 Introduction
02:11 Hells Angels on trial in Spain awaiting verdict
05:13 President makes important argument
05:57 First raid was in 2013
07:26 Back to business as usual in Germany’s red light districts
07:58 This has been going on since 2013
08:47 Operation Casblanca
10:59 Awaiting the trial verdict but much has happened
13:18 Pressure built up for the move of the Hells Angels chapter to Spain from Germany
14:57 Night Clubs and prostitution
17:06 Two million dollar estate owned by defendants
19:36 Accused boss made an impacting argument
20:54 One Man One Vote/ One Person One Vote
21:39 This is how motorcycle clubs operate
22:31 A twist in the trial
23:14 Prosecutor acknowledges this has taken a long time
24:35 My observations/reactions
25:54 The poor bastard president is the servant of the MC
32:08 Outtro

Among the most prominent defendants is German national Frank Hanebuth, who is charged with links to organized crime, money laundering and firearms possession. Prosecutors are seeking a 12-year prison sentence for him, as they consider him a key individual in the scheme that moved his group from Hannover to Mallorca after pressure in Germany increased.

Hanebuth was the only defendant who used his right to a final statement before the trial was adjourned Friday evening, and he used it to insist that his organization was democratic.

“We are not a criminal organization. We are the only biker club in the world that is based on a democratic structure. That means one person, one vote,” he said.

He denied that there was a president of the group at national or international level, claiming that each chapter is independent.

His lawyer had previously requested the court during the closing arguments to acquit Hanebuth.

Prosecutors believe the bikers engaged in organized crime and charged them with offenses including drug trafficking, money laundering, prostitution and extortion.

Thirty-five of the 49 defendants took plea deals on the first day of the trial, reducing their sentences to fines. The highest sentence request among those who did not take the deal is for the group’s alleged treasurer, Abdelghani Youssafi; prosecutors asked for him to be sentenced to 28 1/2 years.

The prosecutor’s final indictment reduced some of the sentence requests, noting that the trial has had significantly slow progress since the police operation that initiated it happened almost 10 years ago.

Source: AP News