Martin Kok: Gang member who arranged murder of crime writer outside sex club is jailed

Christopher Hughes, 33, was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 25 years, the Crown Office said

Emily Atkinson
Saturday 23 April 2022 17:57 BST
Christopher Hughes helped arrange the murder of Dutch crime writer Martin Kok, 49
Christopher Hughes helped arrange the murder of Dutch crime writer Martin Kok, 49 (PA)

A gang member has been jailed for 25 years after he helped arrange the murder of a Dutch crime writer.

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

Hughes, described by police as a “dangerous individual”, alerted others of Mr Kok’s whereabouts and sent word when he left the club, the prosecutors said.

An earlier attempt was made on Mr Kok’s life that same day after Hughes let his colleagues know the pair were leaving the Citizen M hotel in Amsterdam.

The 33-year-old was convicted of murder following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

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

Hughes was also issued a concurrent sentence of six years for his involvement in serious organised crime.

The court previously heard that Martin Kok was a renowned journalist and crime writer in the Netherlands, known for publishing details about criminals and organised crime that were “often sensationalist.”

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.”

According to prosecutors, Hughes was involved in an organised crime group with international reach.

Between 1 July 2013 and 7 January 2020, he aided 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 he was found guilty, detective chief superintendent Stuart Houston described him as “a dangerous individual.”

His conviction is “testament to Police Scotland’s commitment to relentlessly pursuing criminals who think they are untouchable or above the law,” he added.

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