Four Madrid train bombers have convictions overturned
Spain's highest court Thursday overturned the guilty verdicts of four of the 21 persons convicted of involvement in the Madrid train bombings that left 191 dead four years ago, reported dpa.
The court acquitted two Syrians, a Moroccan and a Spaniard, who were sentenced to between 5 and 12 years in October 2007 for smuggling explosives and membership of a terrorist organization.
Another Spaniard acquitted at the orginal trial was convicted at the latest hearing in the Supreme Court of providing explosives to the bombers and jailed for four years.
The court also confirmed the acquittal of Rabei Osman el-Sayed Ahmed, known as Mohammed the Egyptian, who was suspected of masterminding the March 11, 2004 attacks on four commuter trains.
The 36-year-old was acquitted of belonging to a terrorist organization because he had already been sentenced in Italy and could not be tried for the same crime twice.
Victims groups expressed disappointment at the verdict. They had argued the Italian conviction of el-Sayed, who is still serving a 10- year sentence in Milan, was not legally binding on Spain.
At the original trial, 17 Arabs and four Spaniards were found guilty and sentenced to prison terms ranging from three years to 40,000 years. Seven of the accused were acquitted.
More than 1,800 people were injured when the terrorists planted 10 bombs on packed commuter trains apparently inspired by the actions of the terrorist network al-Qaeda.
The bombers timed the simultaneous attacks to coincide with the morning rush hour. They boarded the Madrid bound trains, left sports bags on them before alighting and detonating the explosives inside the bags. dpa ms