Portugal charges 89 Hells Angels after Lisbon attack last year

LISBON (Reuters) – Portuguese prosecutors have charged 89 members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club with involvement in organised crime, attempted murder, robbery and drug trafficking, the public prosecutor’s office said on Thursday.

The indictments follow a long investigation that has already led to dozens of arrests of Portuguese and foreign bikers.

The prosecutor’s indictment alleges that in March last year, armed with knives, axes and batons, the accused attempted to kill four people and seriously injured others at a restaurant on the outskirts of Portugal’s capital Lisbon. The restaurant was destroyed in the attack.

“According to the indictment, the accused belong to Hells Angels Motorcycle Club,” the statement said.

Of the 89, 37 are in pre-trial detention, five are at home under electronic surveillance and two are detained in Germany awaiting extradition to Portugal, the prosecutors said.

The authorities said at the time the attacks were part of a turf war for control of illicit guns and drug trade.

The bikers were also charged with qualified extortion, possession of illegal weapons and ammunition.

The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club was formed in the United States in 1948 and has branches around the world, including in Portugal since 2002. The US-based club nor their lawyers in Portugal could not immediately be reached for comment.

Reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Alexandra Hudson

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