Immigrants 'faked injuries in Madrid bombings'
6 March 2006, MADRID — Twenty-four immigrants have been accused of falsely claiming they were wounded in the Madrid train bombings in an attempt to gain Spanish citizenship.
6 March 2006
MADRID — Twenty-four immigrants have been accused of falsely claiming they were wounded in the Madrid train bombings in an attempt to gain Spanish citizenship.
The complaints were filed after judicial authorities carried out investigations of the victims of the bombing attacks on four commuter trains which killed 191 and wounded more than 1,500.
Officials have compared the injury claims of supposed victims of the attacks with their medical files and other records and found discrepancies in at least 24 instances.
To date, the cases of 2,591 people with injuries have been examined and 1,970 reports have been prepared.
There are still 621 cases remaining to be evaluated and 466 injury claims that are being looked into more closely because of alleged fraud.
Spanish authorities decided to grant citizenship to all illegal immigrants wounded in the massacre and to the family members of the undocumented foreigners who died in the strikes.
According to official records, among those killed in the bombings were 16 Romanians, six Ecuadorians, four each from Bulgaria, Poland and Peru, three Moroccans, two each from
Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Ukraine, and one each from Cuba, Chile, Brazil, the Philippines, France and Guinea Bissau.
Almost two years after the attacks, the families of six of the dead foreigners still have not been located, despite attempts to do so through those countries' embassies in Madrid.
Judge Juan del Olmo, the investigating magistrate, has amassed 80,000 files, and 116 people are linked to the attacks, of whom 24 are in prison.
One of the suspects, Rabei Osman Al Sayed, is in an Italian jail - and 42 others are free on parole.
So far, only one of the participants in the attacks has been tried and found guilty.
A Spanish minor nicknamed "El Gitanillo" (The little gypsy) was sentenced to six years in prison for transporting part of the explosives which were used in the bombs that were placed in backpacks and left by members of a Muslim terrorist team on board crowded trains during morning rush hour.
The backpack-bombs were detonated remotely by means of mobile phone calls.
Seven members of the strike team blew themselves up in an apartment in Leganes, near Madrid, on 3 April when it became clear to them that Spanish police had them cornered and were closing in on them. One policeman also died in that blast.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news