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Lawyers for Madrid bombings 'mastermind' demand acquittal on last day of trial

[JURIST] Lawyers for Rabei Osman el Sayed [CBC profile], the alleged mastermind behind the 2004 Madrid train bombings [JURIST news archive], demanded Monday that Osman be acquitted, accusing prosecutors of trying to convict him "based on nothing, and with an astounding frivolousness." El Sayed was convicted in Italy [JURIST report] for belonging to a terrorist group and was extradited to Spain for the Spanish trial. Prosecutors allege that Osman, also known as "Mohamed the Egyptian," planned the attacks and recruited others to help.

Monday was the last day of the trial of 28 defendants [BBC backgrounder], mostly of Moroccan descent, who were charged with 192 counts of murder and upwards of 1,800 counts of attempted murder related to the March 11, 2004 bombings. Prosecutors are seeking jail sentences for eight suspected ringleaders of nearly 39,000 years each [JURIST report], although the maximum time they could serve under Spanish law is 40 years. The defendants have all protested their innocence and condemned the attacks. AP has more.

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