Reporter accused of Al-Qaeda links freed
17 March 2005
MADRID-An Al Jazeera correspondent indicted in Spain for links to Al Qaeda was released from custody on medical grounds pending trial.
In the ruling authorizing his temporary release, the National Court said that journalist Taysir Alony “must appear daily at the police station closest to his home in Granada,” a city in southern Spain.
In addition, the order said that Alony, a Syrian-born Spanish citizen, “may attend medical appointments as many times as necessary, provided that he notifies the court in advance.”
The National Court ordered police to set up 24-hour “monitoring of the defendant in the area near his home” while the medical ruling remains in force.
Alony’s case is being tried by Judge Baltasar Garzon and prosecutors will request nine years behind bars for him in the soon-to-be-held trial of alleged members of the Al Qaeda cell in Spain.
In making the ruling on his release, the court took into account Alony’s precarious state of health, given that he suffers from a serious heart condition.
The measure, which had been requested by Alony’s defence team, was supported by the same prosecutors who last November requested that he be denied bail so as to prevent his flight and to guarantee his presence in court.
Alony covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for Qatar-based Al Jazeera satellite television.
He also interviewed Osama bin Laden a month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States.
There has been an international campaign protesting his innocence.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news