Morocco to put alleged 2004 Madrid bomber on trial

[JURIST] Moroccan authorities have arrested Abdelilah Hriz, an alleged participant in the 2004 Madrid train bombings [JURIST news archive], a Spanish judicial source said Monday. Hriz, whose DNA and fingerprints linked him to a house where explosives were prepared and an apartment where several suspects killed themselves after being pursued by police, will be tried in Morocco. According to Reuters' source, this is the first time a Moroccan court has agreed to try a Moroccan citizen for crimes committed outside of the country.

Spain's highest court of appeal said earlier this month that 25 appeals, both from defendants and from victims, have been filed against verdicts handed down in Spain against participants in the Madrid bombings. In November 2007, victims vowed to appeal [JURIST report] after a Spanish court acquitted seven of the 28 co-defendants accused of participating in the attacks, including alleged mastermind Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed [CBC profile]. In all, 28 co-defendants [BBC backgrounder] were charged in Spain with 192 counts of murder and upwards of 1,800 counts of attempted murder related to the March 11, 2004 bombings. Three defendants were convicted of murder [JURIST report] and 18 others were found guilty of lesser charges. The three men convicted of murder - Jamel Zougam, Otman el Ghanoui, and Emilio Trashorras - each received sentences of up to 40,000 years imprisonment, but under Spanish law can only serve a maximum of 40 years each. The defendants have all protested their innocence and condemned the attacks. Reuters has more.

 

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