Prosecutors to appeal acquittal of March 11 terrorist suspect

7th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

7 November 2007, MADRID - High court prosecutors announced yesterday that they would appeal against the decision to acquit Rabei Osman el Sayed, also known as <i>The Egyptian</i>, for his alleged role in the March 11 Madrid train bombings, which killed 191 and wounded hundreds more. However, they also announced they will not be appealing against any of the other sentences handed down by the court that tried 28 people involved in the attacks.

7 November 2007

MADRID - High court prosecutors announced yesterday that they would appeal against the decision to acquit Rabei Osman el Sayed, also known as <i>The Egyptian</i>, for his alleged role in the March 11 Madrid train bombings, which killed 191 and wounded hundreds more. However, they also announced they will not be appealing against any of the other sentences handed down by the court that tried 28 people involved in the attacks.

The decision to acquit El Sayed was taken on the basis that he had already been convicted in Italy on a charge equivalent to belonging to a terrorist organization - the very charge he was facing in the March 11 trial. On the principle of <i>non </i><i>bis in idem</i>, it was decided that he could not be punished twice for the same crime.

However, it has since emerged that the sentence handed down in Italy is not yet final as it is pending appeal. The prosecutors are also basing their appeal on the fact that the aforementioned principle stipulates that the circumstances of each case have to be identical - but the two charges El Sayed faced in Spain and in Italy only partially coincide.

According to legal sources, public prosecutors have decided not to appeal against the sentences handed down to Abdelmajid Bouchar and Rafa Zouhier. Prosecutors were demanding 38,950 years for Bouchar, but the court concluded that he had not left the explosives on the trains, as he was charged, and gave him 18 years instead for belonging to a terrorist cell.

Zouhier was looking at 38,958 years as a necessary accomplice to the attacks, after putting the cell in contact with the explosives suppliers. He instead got 10 years on the generic count of supplying explosives for terrorist activities.

Prosecutors decided not to appeal given that such an action would affect the evaluation of the evidence.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL./ JOSÉ YOLDI 2007]

Subject: Spanish news

 


 

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