Expatica news

Spain’s public enemy no.1 denies murders

9 August 2007

MADRID (EFE) – The man often dubbed Spain’s public enemy number one for his alleged raids on more than 30 banks denies killing three policemen, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Jaime Jimenez Arbe, who is being held in a high-security prison in Portugal where he was arrested at the end of last month, admits to being a “professional” bank robber, trained by the mafia in Marseille.

But he never killed anyone, said his lawyer in Spain, Jose Mariano Trillo-Figueroa, at a Madrid press conference.

Trillo-Figueroa said a fellow member of the Marseille mafia shot dead two policemen in Castejon in Navarre. That convinced Jimenez Arbe to pursue his life of crime alone.

Spanish police and media have dubbed him El Solitario, the Loner, because he appeared on CCTV footage, carrying out his raids alone, wearing various disguises.

The Loner will not name the mafia man for fear for his life, said Trillo-Figueroa.

The lawyer also said his client was innocent of the killing of a third police officer, stating another officer shot him accidentally.

Jimenez Arbe does not want to be extradited to Spain until his bad name is cleared.

He robbed banks in an attempt “to free the Spanish people” from the way banks robbed them, said Trillo-Figueroa.

Jimenez was first in trouble with the law at 16 for stealing from a music shop in Madrid and was sent to prison for nine months, an experience which heavily marked him.

From then on, he led a double life, keeping his crimes secret from even his three wives, one a British woman from Manchester, and his three children.

He worked in industrial refrigeration in Libya and Algeria, among other day jobs.

“Being caught is a therapy for me because it allows me to let out all the poison I have in me”, said The Loner to his lawyer in one of the three meetings they had in Portugal.

(Copyright EFE with Expatica 2007)

Subject: Spanish news