Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Trial....Day 41, May 23rd

The Road From Asturias to Madrid

The day began with testimony from expert witnesses Y-57188-A and E-80152-J from the Guardia Civil. These witnesses testified on a report they had prepared concerning payments made on toll roads that supported evidence of journeys said to have been made by those involved in supplying the explosives for the bombs. The payments were traced to the accounts of Emilio Suárez Trashorras and Carmen Toro and were made at points between Asturias and Madrid. Under questioning from defence lawyers the witnesses conceded that use of the cards was not proof that the owner of the card made the journey. These witnesses also prepared a report on a BMW car belonging to Jamal Ahmidam, which has also been linked to Mahmoud Slimane Aoun and Abdelilah el Fadoual el Akil because of repairs that were carried out on it.

In addition, the same witnesses declared on estimates they had made of the maximum amount of stolen explosives that the bombers could have taken from the mine. They estimated that as much as 270 kilos could have been taken on the weekend of the 28th and 29th February 2004 from the Mina Conchita in Asturias. The estimate is based on the capacity of rucksacks which those accused of the bombings are said to have bought in a Carrefour supermarket in Avilés that weekend. The witnesses declared that the estimate is compatible with evidence of explosives consumption at the mine. They also declared on other quantities of explosives said to have been transported to Madrid by associates of Trashorras. They stated that based on declarations by some of the accused they reached the conclusion that the bags were more likely to have contained explosives than drugs. Overall, they estimate the maximum amount of explosive likely to have been transported at 312.5 kilos.

Other Police Experts

The national police witnesses with numbers 17608 and 18502 declared on a report they prepared analysing the video tape claiming responsibility for the bombings that was left near the main mosque in Madrid. They also examined a tape found in the wreckage of the apartment in Leganés that was destroyed in an explosion on April 3rd 2004, as well as a video camera. They stated that the tapes had been recorded with the same camera.

Next came testimony from police specialists 148 and 51884822 on plastic bags found at different scenes associated with the bombings; Leganés, the house at Morata de Tajuña where the bombs are said to have been prepared, the Kangoo van discovered on the day of the bombings, and the unexploded bomb found amongst personal effects in a Madrid police station. The witnesses said that the bags compared had the same composition, and that those from Leganés and the Kangoo van were identical.

Expert witnesses 17587, 18479 and 19425 declared on prints found in the Kangoo van. Some were from the owner of the vehicle but of the others they were able to identify prints from Daoud Ouhnane. Witnesses 19245 and 19273 declared concerning a property in Albolote, Granada that is linked to those accused of carrying out the bombings. At this property prints were collected and identified as belonging to Rifaat Anouar and Jamal Ahmidam.

Reading of Witness Declarations

Next came the reading of the declaration made to the police on the 13th March 2004 by a protected witness, S20-04-R-10. The witness stated in this declaration that he took a train leaving Alcalá de Henares at 7 a.m. on the morning of the 11th March 2004. At the station of Torrejón de Ardoz the witness saw two individuals carrying large black rucksacks who spoke to each other in Arabic and then separated. The witness thought it strange that they sat in separate places. The declaration by the witness contains a description of these individuals and of the moment of the explosion in the train.

The declaration of another witness, Nafia Nouredine, was also read to the court. The witness declared in this statement about having carried out military training in Afghanistan and also admitted connections with the Moroccan Islamic Combat Group (MICG). The declaration details how he travelled through several European countries and then later through Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The witness states that he was leader of the GICM from 1998 to1999 but that he left the leadership because of problems he had with the activities of the organisation. At the request of the prosecution, a part of the declaration was read concerning the position of Hassan el Haski in the GICM, and another concerning a meeting with Osama bin Laden in August 2001 where Bin Laden gave permission for the GICM to use Al Qaeda training camps.

Another witness whose police declaration was read to the court is Mauricio Andres Soto Gómez. This person is accused of having sold a stolen Skoda car to those who carried out the bombings; the car was stolen in Benidorm.

The witness Santiago Delgado Bueno is a psychiatrist. He testified on the effects of the bombings on victims and the relationship between these events and the symptoms he witnessed in his patients.

Following these witnesses the trial was halted by appalling weather conditions in Madrid, a lightning strike prevented use of the electrical recording equipment.

Footnote: The trial has entered into often dense detail based on the investigation, we have reached the point where the similarities between plastic bags can help to make connections between the different sites involved.

Datadiar - Daily Summary
ABC - The explosives

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