Madrid bombing suspect faces terrorism charges
19 May 2005, MILAN — Rabei Ousmane Sayed Ahmed, a prime suspect in the Madrid train bombings, appeared in an Italian court for the first time to face international terrorism charges.
19 May 2005
MILAN — Rabei Ousmane Sayed Ahmed, a prime suspect in the Madrid train bombings, appeared in an Italian court for the first time to face international terrorism charges.
Also known as 'Mohamed the Egyptian', Ahmed has been kept in a high-security prison near Milan since being handed back by Spain to the Italian authorities in April.
He appeared with an alleged accomplice Yahya Mawad Mohamed Rajeh, also Egyptian.
Both are accused by the public prosecutor of being linked to the al-Qaeda terror group.
Detained last June in Italy, where he also faces charges for membership of a terrorist organisation, Ahmed was extradited to Spain last December.
In Spain he was questioned over the attacks, which killed 191 people and wounded 1,900.
At the preliminary hearing, his lawyer Viviana Bossi called on the judge not to take into account tapped telephone conversations handed over by the prosecutor, saying that procedures had been breached.
The prosecutor will reply next Tuesday, after which the judge, Chiara Nobili, will decide whether the two men should be put on trial.
During earlier questioning by Spanish judge Juan Del Olmo, Ahmed admitted to knowing of some of the 25 suspects, most of them Moroccans, held over the Madrid attacks.
He is reported to have spoken about organising the attacks during the telephone conversations with associates that were recorded by Italy's secret service.
Ahmed is understood to have been in Italy at the time of the blasts but spent time in 2003 in the Madrid district of Lavapies, home to several of the suspected bombers.
The coordinated attacks on four Madrid commuter trains have been blamed on al-Qaeda and were seen as a revenge attack by Islamic extremists for Spain's backing for the US-led war in Iraq.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news