Düsseldorf (dpa/lnw) – In the trial against alleged members of the Al-Zein clan, the Düsseldorf regional court wants to announce the verdict this Thursday (1 p.m.). Prosecutors have asked for up to six years in prison. Five of the original seven defendants are still in court: In addition to the head of the Leverkusen branch of the clan, there are three of his sons and his wife.

The court had stopped the proceedings against a daughter and a daughter-in-law of the clan boss due to minor guilt against conditions. The end of the process after six months of trial time was preceded by an agreement: in return for confessions, the accused were promised suspended sentences and imprisonment for a maximum of six years.

They then admitted the allegations in mid-November. In the 127-page indictment, they are accused of various roles, including commercial and gang welfare fraud, hostage-taking, money laundering, kidnapping by extortion, dangerous bodily harm and tax evasion.

Despite considerable wealth, the accused are said to have received unjustified social benefits totaling 456,000 euros from the job center for over six years by the end of June 2021. The job center paid the family of ten almost 5,200 euros from tax money every month. The family is said to have used the money to repay the loan for their villa with 300 square meters of living space in Leverkusen.

The police had stormed and searched the house, found live firearms and confiscated six-figure sums of cash and luxury watches worth 160,000 euros. The case had caused a nationwide sensation. A total of around 600 police officers were involved in the campaign in 15 NRW cities.