Man linked to Madrid train bombings sentenced in Morocco

December 19th, 2008 - 5:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Rabat, Dec 19 (IANS) An appeals court in Morocco has sentenced a man to 20 years in prison for his involvement in the 2004 train bombings in the Spanish capital Madrid, EFE news agency reported Friday.Prosecutors had asked for life in prison for Abdelilah Hriz, a Moroccan citizen, who is accused in Spain of being the mastermind of the multiple Madrid attacks, which left nearly 200 dead and more than 1,800 injured.

The court found Hriz guilty of “forming a criminal band to carry out a terrorist act” and “complicity in the destruction of means of transportation and public routes with explosives”.

Hriz’s lawyer, Abdelatif Nuari, however said he would file an appeal against Thursday’s court verdict.

“The sentence is very harsh because concrete proof implicating my client in these attacks is lacking,” Nuari said.

“The prosecutor did not present concrete or material or legal proof and was not able to prove anything about the role of the accused in the attacks,” he added.

Prosecutors based their charges on the analysis of DNA found in blood on a pair of pants and in the hair found on a comb in houses used by the terrorists. The DNA test helped the investigators nab Hriz.

The accused, who admitted having been in Madrid between October 2003 and March 2004, denied the charges and accused the Spanish police of “fabricating” evidence.

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