11-M bombing mastermind 'acquitted by mistake'

6th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

6 November 2007, MADRID - The court in charge of the March 11 Madrid train bombing trial which reached its verdict last Wednesday made a mistake in acquitting Rabei Osman el Sayed, also known as ' The Egyptian' of the charge of belonging to a terrorist group.

6 November 2007

MADRID - The court in charge of the March 11 Madrid train bombing trial which reached its verdict last Wednesday  made a mistake in acquitting Rabei Osman el Sayed, also known as ' The Egyptian' of the charge of belonging to a terrorist group.

The panel of three judges overseeing the case of the 2004 train bombings that killed 191 people decided to apply the principle of non bis in idem, which stipulates that nobody can be punished twice for the same crime.

That decision was based on the fact that El Sayed had already been convicted in Italy in November 2006 for a crime equivalent to belonging to a terrorist organization - not because they doubted that he was a terrorist.

The Italian court sentenced El Sayed to a 10-year prison term, but the ruling was appealed and reduced to eight years. Even that decision will be appealed again, said El Sayed's attorney Monday.

Because the Italian sentence is not yet final, acquitting El Sayed of the charge constitutes a major legal mistake, experts say, pointing to the fact that the notes accompanying last week's March 11 ruling clearly state that a final sentence is necessary in order to apply the principle of <i>non bis in idem</i>.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL. 2007]

Subject: Spanish news

 

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