Man jailed for at least 25 years for murder of Dutch writer

A member of an organised crime gang who helped arrange the murder of a Dutch crime writer has been jailed for at least 25 years.

Christopher Hughes, 33, was with Martin Kok, 49, when he was shot and killed outside the Boccaccio Club in Laren, Holland on December 8 2016.

Prosecutors said he had alerted others to Mr Kok’s location and let them know when he was leaving the club.

Earlier the same day, Hughes had also sent word to others when the pair were leaving the Citizen M hotel in Amsterdam, when an attempt was made on Mr Kok’s life.

High Court Glasgow
The trial took place at the High Court in Glasgow (Jane Barlow/PA)

Hughes was convicted of murder following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

He was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 25 years at the High Court in Stirling on Friday, the Crown Office said.

The 33-year-old from Glasgow was also sentenced to six years for his involvement in serious organised crime, to run concurrently with the other sentence.

Laura Buchan, Procurator Fiscal for Specialist Casework, said: “Christopher Hughes was a key member of an organised crime gang for many years, facilitating criminal behaviour which culminated in the brutal murder of Martin Kok.

“The conviction of Hughes was truly a collaborative and international effort, and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) worked closely with colleagues in both Scotland and Holland to ensure Hughes answered for his actions. It is thanks to this great work with international justice colleagues that we were able to prosecute Hughes.

“In particular, Police Scotland carried out exceptional work on what was a complex and lengthy investigation.

“Organised crime does great harm to communities in Scotland and beyond and we will continue to work with partners in the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce to tackle these groups.”

Prosecutors said that for almost seven years between July 1 2013 and January 7 2020, Hughes was involved in an organised crime group with international reach.

He was involved in the importation and supply of cocaine, firearms and ammunition, money laundering, and the setting up of a company to supply encrypted communication devices to gangs throughout the world.

After Hughes was found guilty, Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Houston described him as “a dangerous individual” and said his conviction is “testament to Police Scotland’s commitment to relentlessly pursuing criminals who think they are untouchable or above the law.”