Four Madrid bomb convicts cleared, Msulim Terrorists Go Free.
Spain's Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of four people found guilty of involvement in the Madrid train bombings in 2004. The four were among 21 people convicted last year over the attacks, which killed 191 people.
The court cleared Basel Ghalyoun and Mohamed Almallah Dabas, both sentenced earlier to 12 years for belonging to a terrorist group; Abdelilah El Fadual El Akil, sentenced to nine years for collaborating with a terrorist group, and Raúl González, who received five years for supplying explosives.
The court also upheld the acquittal of an Egyptian suspected of masterminding the attacks, because he had already been convicted of the offence in Italy. However it convicted and jailed one of those originally found not guilty.
The Spanish man, who was sentenced to four years in prison, had earlier been cleared of helping to supply the explosives used in the Madrid attacks.
Mastermind boast? The Egyptian man, Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed, had been cleared of involvement in the bombings in October.
Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed had already been convicted in Italy
As he had already been sentenced to eight years in prison in Italy for belonging to a terrorist organisation, the court ruled he could not be convicted again for the same crime.
Changing the course of history
Last October, a Spanish court cleared three men of masterminding the attack and acquitted seven others, while convicting 21 people for involvement in the attack.
Many victim support groups were angered by the acquittals and said the sentences handed down were much lower than those requested by the state attorney. The train bombings killed 191 people and injured 1,800, Pilar Manjón, who lost her son in the attacks and became one of the victims' most eloquent representatives, was disappointed in her efforts to get an accused ringleader behind bars. Jesús Ramírez, a survivor of the attacks, said that he accepted the judges' verdict even if he did not agree with it: “Even though we may oppose it in our hearts, they have more information and have weighed the evidence and made a decision.”
The Madrid bombing - in which 10 rucksack bombs tore through four packed commuter trains on 11 March 2004 - was Europe's most deadly terror attack since the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. They had acted to avenge the presence of Spanish troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, said investigators.