THE FIRST day of a massive trial of members of a Hells Angels chapter based in Mallorca saw 34 of the nearly 50 defendants cut deals with the public prosecutor.
The court proceedings got underway on Monday in Spain’s national High Court in Madrid, but delays to the start of the trial gave the gang members – most of whom are from Germany – the chance to reach agreements that massively reduced their sentences.
The 34 defendants agreed to punishments of between six months and 12 and a half years in prison after admitting to their offences, with the jail terms avoidable on the payment of a fine.
The defendants were on trial for events that date back to November 2009, when they set up the Hells Angels chapter on the Balearic Island of Mallorca. They are accused of having engaged in drug trafficking, prostitution, money laundering and extortion.
According to the public prosecutor, they enjoyed a ‘high-level lifestyle’, owned real estate via intermediaries, and acted with extreme violence.
They are also accused of hiding their ill-gotten gains from the Spanish Tax Agency.
Among those who reached a deal with the prosecutor on Monday was Khalil Youssafi, the vice-president of the chapter.
He was facing 38 and a half years in prison, but eventually accepted a jail term of 12 years and six months, which can be substituted for a fine of €36,720.
He admitted the offences of belonging to a criminal organisation, money laundering, prostitution, drug trafficking and illegal possession of arms, among others.
Sources from the public prosecutor told El Mundo that the deals had been struck for several reasons. These include the slow progress of the trial (the arrests were made in 2013, and four years have passed since the accusations were presented to the court), as well as the difficulties in proving some of the more serious offences.
The trial will continue, however, with the remaining defendants, who include Frank Hanebuth, a key figure from the Hannover Hells Angels, who is facing 13 years in jail, and Abdelghani Youssafi, the treasurer of the group and brother of Khalil.