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Mallorca’s Hells Angels trial awaits a verdict in Spain


MADRID — The trial of 49 alleged members of the Hells Angels bikers gang in the Spanish holiday island of Mallorca, most of them charged with offenses linked to organized crime, has been adjourned to await a verdict, after three weeks of sessions in Madrid’s High Court.

Among the most prominent defendants is German national Frank Hanebuth, who is charged with links to organized crime, money laundering and firearms possession. Prosecutors are seeking a 12-year prison sentence for him, as they consider him a key individual in the scheme that moved his group from Hannover to Mallorca after pressure in Germany increased.

Hanebuth was the only defendant who used his right to a final statement before the trial was adjourned Friday evening, and he used it to insist that his organization was democratic.

“We are not a criminal organization. We are the only biker club in the world that is based on a democratic structure. That means one person, one vote,” he said.

He denied that there was a president of the group at national or international level, claiming that each chapter is independent.

His lawyer had previously requested the court during the closing arguments to acquit Hanebuth.

Prosecutors believe the bikers engaged in organized crime and charged them with offenses including drug trafficking, money laundering, prostitution and extortion.

Thirty-five of the 49 defendants took plea deals on the first day of the trial, reducing their sentences to fines. The highest sentence request among those who did not take the deal is for the group’s alleged treasurer, Abdelghani Youssafi; prosecutors asked for him to be sentenced to 28 1/2 years.

The prosecutor’s final indictment reduced some of the sentence requests, noting that the trial has had significantly slow progress since the police operation that initiated it happened almost 10 years ago.

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