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Madrid bombing suspect released after procedural mixup

[JURIST] [JURIST Europe] A Spanish High Court judge was forced to order the release of Moroccan citizen Saed El Harrak [BBC profile], a suspect alleged to be involved in the March 11, 2004 Madrid train bombings [JURIST news archive], due to the government's failure to apply for the necessary extension for further detainment. Harrak was arrested in connection to the bombings in 2004 and Spanish law allows authorities to hold suspects for a maximum of two years without facing trial. Inquiries are to be made into why prosecutors did not file an extension for imprisonment that would have allowed Harrak to be detained for an additional two years. Despite the blunder, Harrak is required to check in twice a day with the police and must remain in the Madrid region indefinitely.

In April, a Spanish judge charged 29 individuals [JURIST report] for the bombing. The trial is expected to begin in early 2007. A trial began [JURIST report] earlier this year in Italy for suspected Madrid bombings mastermind Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed [CBC profile] who allegedly helped to orchestrate [JURIST report] the Madrid attacks and later sought to recruit more extremists in Milan, Italy. Reuters has more.

Angela Onikepe is an Associate Editor for JURIST Europe, reporting European legal news from a European perspective. She is based in the UK.

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