6th April 2021, 19:33
A jury has been empanelled at the Supreme court for the trial of two men accused of the robbing €1.5 million euros.
Hamza Mesmoudi and Hakim El Lagmich each face one count of robbery and one count of conspiracy to rob.
It’s alleged that they were two of seven individuals involved in the robbery of a tobacco warehouse in June 2017 – which the Crown described as quite possibly the highest value robbery to take place in Gibraltar.
Mr Mesmoudi, 30, and Mr El Lagmich, 34, were arrested separately in Spain on the strength of European Arrest Warrants in 2019 and 2020 respectively, and now face trial after pleading not guilty to their charges.
Rachid Behdaoui and Samir Douaoui each pleaded guilty in 2019 to their own parts in the robbery and have since served time for their involvement.
They will now be providing testimony which the crown claims incriminates Mr Mesmoudi and Mr El Lagmich.
In his opening remarks, Christian Rocca, acting for the Crown, told the jury that Behdaoui and Douaoui would be receiving shorter prison sentences for their cooperation.
Mr Rocca said that Mr El Lagmich was an employee of the warehouse at the time of the incident. He said that the Crown would be providing DNA evidence linking Mr Mesmoudi to a vehicle used in the crime.
Today, the jury saw footage from five separate CCTV cameras, two outside the premises and three inside, which showed three individuals entering the warehouse, closing the shutter at the entrance and, following a physical altercation with one employee, restraining four men with tie wraps and leaving the premises with three boxes said to be full of cash.
A jury of nine will hear further evidence over the next two weeks. This is the first trial by jury to take place at the Supreme Court since last year, following the Rock’s second lockdown due to COVID-19.