Police chief demoted over 'bombing' revelations

16th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

16 November 2004, MADRID - A lieutenant colonel in the Guardia Civil has been demoted after newspaper revelations about the sale of explosives used for the Madrid massacre in which 191 people were killed.

16 November 2004

MADRID - A lieutenant colonel in the Guardia Civil has been demoted after  newspaper revelations about the sale of explosives used for the Madrid massacre in which 191 people were killed.

José Antonio Rodríguez Bolinaga was demoted after the Spanish daily El Mundo published details of a taped telephone conversation involving a Guardia Civil undercover agent in which informers said explosives were being stolen from mines in Aviles, in northern Spain in 2001.

The same explosives were later used in Spain's worst terrorist attack on 11 March.

Senior Guardia Civil officers earlier told the parliamentary inquiry into the terrorist attacks they had no evidence of any trade in explosives before the attacks.

Emilio Suárez Trashorras and Antonio Toro Castro, two Spanish suspects accused of supplying the explosives to Islamic radicals, were said to have had contact with the police agent codenamed 'Lavandero'.

Antonio Camacho, Spain's secretary of state for security, sacked Bolinaga as head of police in Gijon, the region in which Aviles lies, because he had "lost confidence" in the officer.

But Bolinaga has not been dismissed from the police service, simply from his post.

Bolinaga was also revealed as the head of the Guardia Civil unit with the worst record for absenteeism. At one point, 100 officers were off work suffering 'psychological' problems - from a unit of 700.

The commission into the Madrid bombings will also examine the phone taps revealed by the newspaper. 

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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