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Spain judge indicts 7 for aiding and abetting Madrid train bombing suspects

[JURIST] Judge Eloy Velasco of the Spanish National Court [official website, in Spanish] on Monday indicted seven people for their alleged involvement in helping the suspected perpetrators of the 2004 Madrid train bombings [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] flee Spain after the attacks. Six of the seven have been charged [El Pais report, in Spanish] with belonging to a terrorist organization and the seventh person has been charged with collaboration. Altogether they are accused of providing money, housing, food, and forged documentation to the suspected perpetrators. The nationalities of the seven indicted include four Moroccans, an Algerian, and a Tunisian, and the nationality of the seventh is unknown. One of the indicted, a Moroccan is already in Spanish custody, four are on provisional release, and the whereabouts of the remaining two are unknown. If convicted, the six charged with belonging to a terrorist organization can face up to 12 years and the collaborator up to 10 years in prison. The men are required to be in court later this month.

In all, 28 co-defendants [BBC profiles] 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, which killed 191 people and injured almost 2,000 more. Three defendants were convicted of murder [JURIST report] and 18 others were found guilty of lesser charges. Last year, Spain's highest court of appeal said that 25 appeals had been filed [JURIST report] against verdicts handed down against convicted participants for the bombings, both from defendants and from victims. The defendants have all protested their innocence and condemned the attacks.

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