Judge delivers verdicts in 2004 Madrid train bombing trial

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Plaque at the city hall in memory of the casualties in the 11-M terror attack in Madrid
Image: Miguel A. Monjas.

The Audiencia Nacional of Spain (National Court of Spain) has found 21 of 28 defendants guilty in connection with the 2004 Madrid train bombings.

The defendants were facing charges including murder, forgery and conspiracy to commit a terrorist attack. 27 of them are men and one is a woman. 19 are mostly Moroccan Arabs and nine Spaniards.

Chief Judge Javier Gomez Bermudez read the verdicts which came after three months of deliberations.

Jamal Zougam, Otman el Ghanoui and Emilio Trashorras were found guilty of murder. The three were given sentences of 42,924 years in prison, although the most one can serve in Spain is 40 years. As far as the other guilty verdicts, no one was given more than 23 years for their part in the crime.

Cquote1.svg I'm not a judge or a lawyer but this is shameful, outrageous Cquote2.svg

—Isabel Presa, mother of a victim

Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed, aka "Mohamed the Egyptian", was acquitted although he is serving a ten-year sentence in Italy on other terrorism charges. Jose Maria de Pablos, spokesman for a victims' association, said: "We're very surprised by the acquittal. If it wasn't them, we have to find out who it was. Somebody gave the order."

"I'm not a judge or a lawyer but this is shameful, outrageous," said Isabel Presa, who lost her youngest son in one of the explosions. She told journalists of her outrage at what she thought were lenient sentences.

The 2004 Madrid train bombings (also known in Spain as 11-M) consisted of a series of coordinated bombings against the Cercanías (commuter train) system of Madrid, Spain on the morning of March 11, 2004, killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.


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