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Madrid witness contradicts police evidence

Published on 06/07/2004

6 July 2004

MADRID – The first witness to appear before the inquiry investigating the events surrounding the 11 March terrorist attacks contradicted on Tuesday police accounts of when a lorry used by the bombers was found.

Luis Garrudo, a caretaker, said the lorry was searched by police in Alcala, near Madrid, and they discovered detonators and a video tape.

A police report had claimed the lorry was discovered and searched hours later in Canillas, a different part of the city.

The deputy-director of police, Pedro Díaz-Pintado, wrote in a report that officers had searched the lorry at about 3.30pm on 11 March.

They discovered a video tape with quotes from the Koran and seven detonators.

Garrudo said he had the impression that the three occupants of the lorry were all foreigners, but he said he could not be sure because they wore balaclavas; something he thought was noteworthy because it had been a warm day.

When he was taken to a police station to make a statement about what he had seen, Garrudo claimed that one officer said he didn’t think the bombs had been the work of the Basque terrorist group ETA.

Television reports said the government claimed ETA was responsible.

Garrudo was shown pictures of Arabic citizens and claims police insisted “strongly” that these were the foreigners that he had seen with the lorry.

Meanwhile, Carmen Baladía, director of the Forensic Anatomy Institute, also gave evidence on Tuesday and claimed that no one said there could have been suicide bombers among the bodies of those who died during the attacks.

In a report, she said there was no evidence of this.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news