blogger killing | 

Man accused of murdering Dutch crime writer was using Irish passport when arrested 

Christopher Hughes, from Glasgow, is accused of killing Martin Kok (49) at the Boccaccio club, near Amsterdam, in December 2016

Victim Martin Kok

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

A man who has gone on trial accused of murdering a well-known Dutch crime writer was using false passports, including an Irish one, when he was arrested, a court has heard.

Scottish suspect Christopher Hughes (33), who has denied killing Martin Kok in December 2016, was travelling with a number of false documents when he was finally lifted in Turin, Italy in January 2020.

Hughes, from Glasgow, is accused of killing Kok (49) at the Boccaccio club, near Amsterdam, on December 8, 2016.

The victim suffered shot wounds to his head and body.

Hughes is also accused of attempting to murder the Dutch blogger earlier that day and of three further charges between 2011 and 2020.

A jury at the High Court in Glasgow heard Mr Hughes denies all the charges.

Det Insp Michael Lochrie told the jury he was part of a team taking part in Operation Escalade, which focused on serious organised criminals in Scotland and the UK with links to Europe.

Prosecutor Liam Ewing asked Det Insp Lochrie what Mr Kok's occupation was before his death.

He replied: "A Dutch journalist and crime blogger."

Ewing went on: “It would be fair to say that he published details about organised criminals which journalists would not publish?”

Lochrie replied, “yes”, and agreed that it was, “quite often sensationalist”.

Ewing added: “It would be known by the inquiry looking at his death that he was a man who attracted anger and rage from people involved in serious organised crime?”

Lochrie answered, “yes”, and later added that Mr Kok was also “well known” public figure.

The court heard the alleged method of Mr Kok's murder was that his whereabouts and time of departure at the Boccaccio Club was given to a named man and others.

Mr Kok is then said to have been repeatedly shot in the head and body.

Mr Hughes is further accused of being involved in the importation and supply of cocaine between December 2011 and January 2020.

It is alleged that he was in possession of firearms and firearm accessories for the purpose of supplying them to others, and for using them to commit acts of violence.

Mr Hughes is also accused of engaging in various other activities associated with serious organised crime, including leasing property and buying vehicles under false names, storing and concealing money, and transporting money, drugs and firearms.

Detective Inspector Lochrie (33) told of documents he discovered when he was involved in Hughes’ arrest in Turin, Italy in January 2020.

Asked about one passport by prosecutor Liam Ewing QC, he said it was in the name of Alexis Rustenovs.

The cop identified Hughes as the man photographed in the Latvian passport shown to jury members.

He also pointed to the accused as the person pictured on a Latvian driving licence and in a 2019 Irish passport.

Lastly, a UK passport with the name Christopher John Hughes was shown to the jury.

Hughes’ defence QC Donald Findlay put it to Det Insp Lochrie that Mr Kok was a murderer.

He asked: “How many people did Mr Kok kill?” The officer replied: “Two.”

The witness said he was “not aware” of a suggestion there had been a third person. And it was claimed that Mr Kok had served time in custody.

Hughes denies murder, attempted murder, involvement in serious organised crime and supplying cocaine.

The trial continues.

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