Police chief says ETA not behind Madrid bombing

11th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

11 April 2007 , MADRID – A high-ranking police officer at the time of the Madrid bombings told the trial on Wednesday police knew on the day of the attacks the type of dynamite used in the attacks was not the type normally used by ETA.

11 April 2007

MADRID – A high-ranking police officer at the time of the Madrid bombings told the trial on Wednesday police knew on the day of the attacks the type of dynamite used in the attacks was not the type normally used by ETA.

Jesús de la Morena, director general of the police information unit, said on the day of the bombings, police told the then interior minister Angel Acebes the explosives used were not Titadine.

He spoke of various meetings held in the days following the attacks on 11 March 2004.

De la Morena said hours after the bombs which killed 191 people, he had a meeting with the security minister Ignacio Astarloa in which the minister said ETA was considered the prime suspect “because of their antecedents”.

He was referring to a previous plan to attack a train in December 2003 and another attack which was stopped by police.

But De la Morena said there were unusual circumstances which suggested others might be responsible.

At a later meeting, police chiefs said the explosives were not Titadine.

He said: “This meant the probability it was ETA seemed less.”

On Tuesdsay, Spain's interior minister accused the country's former police chief of lying at the trial and inventing a link between the attacks and Basque separatist guerrillas ETA.

With Spain's general election next year, the accusations are part of a bitter row between the opposition Popular Party and the Socialist government over the handling of ETA and terrorism -- seen as Spain's biggest problem in opinion polls.

Interior minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said ex-police chief Agustin Diaz de Mera made up a non-existent report linking the attacks to ETA to back the previous Popular Party government's claims the group was behind bombings that killed 191 people.

In the days after the bombings, evidence grew linking them to Al Qaeda-inspired Islamist radicals who opposed the Popular Party's backing of the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Diaz de Mera, now a Popular Party deputy in European Parliament, could not immediately be reached for comment, but he has stood by his assertion that a report linking the bombings to the ETA exists.

On Tuesday a judge forced him to name a police officer he says originally told him of it.

The government says no such report ever existed.

"He is trying to construct another lie to cover a bigger lie, which is what the Popular Party did between March 11 and 13, 2004," Rubalcaba told a news conference.

Twenty-nine people, including a group of Islamic radicals, have been accused of playing various roles in the train bombings which also left 1,800 injured.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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