Expatica news

Lawyer cleared of Madrid bombing link

26 May 2004

PORTLAND – A US court has thrown out the case against a lawyer accused of being linked to the Madrid train bombings, it was reported Wednesday.

Brandon Mayfield, 37, from Portland in Oregon, in the United Statets, was detained after fingerprints found on a bag of detonators in Madrid were said to be his, the BBC said.

But last week, Spanish authorities said the fingerprints of an Algerian man were on the bag and Muslim convert Mayfield was released from custody.

The FBI has apologised for the error that led to his arrest. 

But despite his release last week, US authorities had said Mayfield remained a “material witness” and put restrictions on his movements that were not lifted until the case was thrown out.

A statement posted on the US District Court’s website said: “Due to the misidentification by the FBI of a fingerprint, the court orders the material witness proceeding dismissed.

“The court orders all property seized to be returned to the material witness.”

In a statement issued from Washington, the FBI said: “The FBI apologises to Mayfield and his family for the hardships that this matter has caused.”

Robert Jordan, the FBI agent in charge of Oregon, said the bureau would review its practices on fingerprint analyses in the light of the case.

He said the FBI’s initial determination about Mayfield’s fingerprint was “based on an image of substandard quality”.

Mayfield, a former army lieutenant, said: “I am a Muslim, an American, and an ex-officer of the US military. I believe I was singled out and discriminated against, I feel, as a Muslim.”

[Copyright Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news