Friday, May 18, 2007

The Trial....Day 37, May 16th

The day began with a reference by the chief judge Javier Gómez Bermudez to a hunger strike which has been begun by some of the accused – Abdelmajid Bouchar, Rabei Osman el Sayed Ahmed, Hassan el Haski and Youssef Belhadj. The judge declared that the law would not permit the suspension of the trial as a result of this action, and that the hearing could continue even in the absence of the hunger strikers.

Continuing the declarations by expert witnesses, came a joint appearance by two specialists from the Guardia Civil, identified by the numbers Y-57188-A and E-80152-J. The court was shown a video made of an inspection carried out in the area of the Conchita mine in March 2005. This is the mine in Asturias where it is alleged the explosives used in the bombs were stolen. Also shown were diagrams and photographs of different parts of the mine and the places where explosives were stored, and images of explosives.

These witnesses also declared on the tracking of telephone records, and said that the first mobile telephone card they investigated was that of Carmen Toro; from that they got to the telephones used by Emilio Suárez Trashorras (4 in total). These cards registered traffic to telephones used by Jamal Ahmidam. There were also calls registered on telephones used by other members of the group from Asturias charged with supplying the explosives. Overall the connection between those in Asturias and those accused of committing the bombings was established via Abdennabi Kounjaa, Rachid Oulad Akcha and Jamal Ahmidam. There was a also a record of a call from Serhane ben Abdelmajid to Trashorras. On the journeys made by Trashorras to Madrid, they managed to find some evidence because of a credit card he had used.

The witnesses declared that Trashorras used only prepaid telephones and cabins to get in contact with Jamal Ahmidam, but that the mobile telephone of Carmen Toro was used to call Ahmidam. Calls have been registered from a cabin just 50 metres from the home of Toro and Trashorras to Jamal Ahmidam. The witnesses said that Rachid Aglif and Rafa Zouhier acted as intermediaries. They detected telephone traffic between Ahmidam (who used 3 different phones) and Zouhier, and that the contacts went up to the 18th March 2004.

The afternoon session began with 3 police ballistics experts, identified by their police numbers 18522, 18851 and 18452. They declared on the Sterling submachine guns found following the explosion at the apartment in Leganés. They said one was fit to be used once cleaned, but that the other had a fracture caused by the explosion. They said that the weapons were identifiable by serial numbers.

Next to declare were 3 police experts on document analysis, numbers 16579, 74964, and 77639. They testified on documents alleged to have been written by Serhane ben Abdelmajid, Mohamed Bouharrat and Rachid Oulad Akcha. They also declared concerning falsified identity documentation recovered from the wreckage of the Leganés apartment. They stated that false passports found were authentic documents with replaced photographs.

The next 3 police specialists, numbers 85513, 67147 and 19245 testified on fingerprint evidence. They said they found prints of Mohamed Bouharrat on a book recovered from Leganés, as well as other prints belonging to Jamal Ahmidam and Abdennabi Kounjaa. All of the prints were recovered from printed matter, which was protected a bit from the explosion.

The testimony was then continued by witness 19245 together with another specialist 18479. They declared on evidence recovered from the Kangoo van found in Alcalá de Henares on the day of the bombings. They said that the FBI gave them an identification of a print belonging to a US citizen, but that they did not agree with this identification. From other prints found they made a positive identification of Daoud Ouhnane.

The witnesses said that prints for Abdelmajid Bouchar were discovered in Leganés and in the house at Morata de Tajuña said to have been used for preparing the bombs. A print from Saed el Harrak was also discovered in the Kangoo van.

Footnote: If the constant switching between expert witnesses seems strange, with some continuing and others going, it is because they are testifying on the reports that they have been involved in preparing. So when one report is finished with, the witnesses change.

Datadiar - Daily Summary
El Mundo - Telephone Tracking
ABC - Telephone Tracking