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Shock, anger display over Spanish bomb acquittals

Old 10-31-07, 04:35 PM
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Shock, anger display over Spanish bomb acquittals,23599...53-401,00.html
Shock, anger display over Spanish bomb acquittals
By Ben Harding in Madrid
November 01, 2007 03:33am
SHOCKED and angry, survivors and relatives of those killed in the Madrid bombings questioned why no one had been convicted of plotting the attacks and said the sentences imposed on the guilty were too short.

Isabel Presa, who lost her youngest son in one of the explosions, shook as she told journalists of her disgust.

“I'm not a judge or a lawyer but this is shameful, outrageous,” she said before breaking down in tears.

Judges found 21 people, mainly Moroccans but also several Spaniards, guilty of involvement in the bombings of commuter trains on the morning of March 11, 2004, that killed 191 people.

Three of the guilty were sentenced to thousands of years in prison.

Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed or “Mohamed the Egyptian”, accused of being one of the masterminds, was acquitted and the judges also cleared two other men of plotting the attacks.

Sentences were often shorter than prosecutors had requested.

“It has destroyed my life, it has condemned me and my husband to a life sentence, and these people get off scot-free, some already on the street and others to 12 years,” Ms Presa said.

“I have waited three years, and now? Now what?”

Some suspected masterminds are believed to have fled the country and another two alleged ringleaders were among seven men who blew themselves up in a Madrid apartment three weeks after the attacks.

Victims' groups said they would appeal.

“We're very surprised by the acquittal. If it wasn't them, we have to find out who it was,” Jose Maria de Pablos, spokesman for a victims' association, said.

"Somebody gave the order."

Ahmed's lawyer, whose client is in prison in Italy for another offence, said justice had been done.

“He was condemned by society and by the media but a judge decided that he is innocent - that's not only good news for myself as his lawyer, but also for Spanish society as a whole,” Endika Zulueta said.

A handful of onlookers and a gaggle of victim's families shouted abuse as the convoy carrying the convicted left the court complex.

Clara Escribano was on her way to work at the 12th October Hospital in south Madrid when a bomb exploded in her train.

The 49-year-old had three operations following the blast which left her deaf in one ear and with metal plates inserted into her skull.

“I'm not happy. I'm very angry,” she said as prison vans, their sirens blaring, took both the condemned and acquitted away.

"I can't work in the same place because of the psychological scars. We will appeal."
You voted for socialism and now you've got it and its system of ''justice.'' And I would be surprised if any of those convicted will ever serve 40 years or anything close to that. It just doesn't seem happens in Europe anymore.
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Old 10-31-07, 04:55 PM
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Obviously I don't know the evidence, but it is hard to believe that you would ever bring people to trial for this kind of thing without having enough proof to practically guarantee them being found guilty. Because this kind of result is terrible for the country.
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