Madrid bombing suspect extradition is delayed
16 August 2005, LONDON — A Spaniard wanted by Spain in connection with the Madrid train bombings cannot be extradited to Madrid because he faced 'human rights abuses', a court is told.
16 August 2005
LONDON — A Spaniard wanted by Spain in connection with the Madrid train bombings cannot be extradited to Madrid because he faced 'human rights abuses', a court is told.
Moutaz Almallah Dabas, who is of Syrian descent, will remain in prison in Britain and will have to appear again in court on 28 September, according to the judicial ruling.
A decision on the extradition request for Dabas was expected on Monday, but it has been postponed.
His defence counsel told a court in London Dabas could face Guantánamo Bay-like conditions, with ill-treatment and possible torture, if returned to Spain.
Spain is seeking to extradite Moutaz Almallah Dabas, a Syrian-born Spanish national arrested in Slough in March, who is accused of being the manager of an al-Qaida-inspired group, which included some of the Madrid bombers.
The Spanish interior ministry claims those who used Dabas's house, near Madrid's bullring, included men responsible for the coordinated attacks in March 2004, in which bombs on four trains killed 191 and injured more than 1,000.
One of those said to have attended meetings was Serhane Ben Abdelmajid Fakhet, known to associates as "The Tunisian".
He was among seven prime suspects who blew themselves up when cornered by Spanish police on 3 April last year.
At Bow Street magistrates court, Mark Summers, defending, said Dabas could legally be held in secret for five days on arrival in Spain without being brought before a judge.
He could be "perceptible to undue pressure", Summers said, referring to a damning report on prisoner treatment by the Human Rights Watch campaign group.
Drawing a comparison with Guantánamo Bay, he said his client could be held in solitary confinement, in an underground cell with no natural light, for years before his trial.
John Hardy, for the Spanish authorities, rejected Summers' claims that he would be ill-treated in Madrid.
Referring to statements from two protected witnesses, he described Dabas as a key figure in the Muslim Brotherhood Martyrs, also known as the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group or the Muslim Brotherhood Movement, whose aim was to further al-Qaida's objectives.
There had been no confirmed reports of torture by the Spanish authorities and there was "no suggestion" from them that Mr Dabas would be held incommunicado for days.
The suspect was arrested in March in Slough, west London on an arrest warrant issued by Spain's national court.
Spanish officials say the two brothers were also involved in recruiting radical Islamic youths who were later sent abroad.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news