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Spain seeks 74,000-year prison terms for al Qaeda suspects accused in 9/11 plot

[JURIST] Spanish prosecutors are seeking 74,000-year prison terms for each of the three suspects accused of using Spain as a staging ground for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. The prison terms correspond to all the charges, including 2,973 murders for those who died in the September 11 attacks. However, Spanish law limits jail sentences to a maximum of 40 years. Authorities also seek a $1.17 billion fine against the three suspects. The punishments are among a total of 230,000 years of prison terms sought for 24 suspects accused of belonging to an al Qaeda unit in Spain. The three charged include the suspected leader of the Spanish cell Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, who investigators believe financed and organized Islamic militants in Spain, Driss Chebli and Ghasoub al Abrash Ghalyoun, who are charged with aiding the September 11 hijackers in their preparations for the attacks on New York and Washington. The trial is expected to start some time in mid-March but no date has been set because of a backlog in cases. Spain will become the second country to put September 11 suspects on trial. Reuters has more. From Madrid, El Mundo has local coverage in Spanish.

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