Missing tapes could end case against drugs gang
16 February 2006, MADRID — Six convicted drug traffickers may win their appeal after 13 audio cassettes recording incriminating conversations were lost.
16 February 2006
MADRID — Six convicted drug traffickers may win their appeal after 13 audio cassettes recording incriminating conversations were lost.
Several of the defendants, who were jailed for between 14 and 20 years, were convicted solely on the basis of police testimonies and transcriptions of the missing tapes, the Spanish daily El Pais reported.
If the prosecution cannot come up with the original tapes, the appeal before the Supreme Court looks likely to succeed.
The defendants, who are Spanish and Turkish, were arrested in 2000 after a year-long investigation into cocaine and heroin trafficking and money laundering.
They were tried in November 2004 and all six were convicted of drugs offences.
Court sources said anti-drug prosecutors have been searching for the missing tapes since January 2004, without any luck.
A high court judge has launched an investigation into the affair.
A preliminary report said the tapes were left in the high court before they disappeared.
But foul play has not been ruled out as a reason why the tapes went missing.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news