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World

Trial against Hells Angels set to start in Spain

MADRID (AP) — The first hearing of the trial of a Hells Angels leader in Europe is set to start on Monday in Madrid.

German national Frank Hanebuth is being tried alongside 46 alleged international collaborators for running a chapter of the motorcycle club on the Spanish resort island of Mallorca that was allegedly involved in organized crime.

Spanish prosecutors are seeking a 13-year prison sentence for him on charges of membership in a criminal organization, money laundering and illegal possession of firearms. They also are demanding a $4.5 million (4.2 million-euro) fine for the money laundering charge.

Other alleged leading members are also charged with running a prostitution ring and drug trafficking, and face up to 38 years in prison.

According to the prosecutor’s indictment, the Hells Angels conducted illegal activities in Mallorca from 2009 to 2013 under Hanebuth’s leadership. He allegedly appointed members who then carried out crimes including extortion, pimping, acquiring illegal firearms and robbery in popular tourist spots.

They also moved into real estate on Mallorca and nearby island Ibiza. The accused didn’t limit themselves to riding Harley-Davidsons. One of Hanebuth’s fellow defendants has been cited as driving a Bentley at 125 mph (200 kph) in a 75-mph (120-kph) speed zone before being pulled over by police.

The trial is expected to last several weeks.

Jennifer O’mahony, The Associated Press