SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Amsterdam career criminal Naoufal F, 38, has been jailed for life for ordering the murder of Iranian refugee Ali Motamed in Almere in December 2015 by judges in Lelystad.
F is already in jail, serving an 18-year term for an attempted gangland killing in 2015. He was arrested in Ireland in 2016 and extradited in 2017. Two other men, 36-year-old Moreo M and 29-year-old Anouar B, were jailed for 25 and 20 years for carrying out the killing in the doorway of Motamed’s home.
The court described the murder as ‘cold-blooded’. The victim, an Iranian whose real name was Mohammad Reza Kolahi Samadi, was a prominent member of a Shi’ite opposition group and had been sentenced to death in Iran for suspected involvement in a bomb attack on the headquarters of the Islamic Republican Party in Tehran in 1981.
But although public prosecutors have said they suspected involvement from the Iranian secret service in the 2015 killing, a hearing in January revealed that no concrete link has been found.
In January, foreign minister Stef Blok told MPs that the Dutch AIVD secret service had ‘strong indications’ that Iran was involved in the killing of Motamed and that of Iranian opposition leader Ahmad Nissi, shot dead in 2017 in The Hague.
The suspicions have led to a series of tense diplomatic exchanges. The Dutch expelled two Iranian embassy staff members from The Hague after these suspicions were revealed in private last year, two members of Dutch staff were then ejected from the Dutch embassy in Tehran, and the Netherlands recalled its ambassador to Iran.
The European Union has also applied sanctions on Iran for suspected ‘enemy actions’ on European soil, included suspected assassination plots in Denmark and France.