Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Trial....Day 43, May 29th

This session began with continuing testimony from expert witnesses concerning explosives associated with the train bombings. The witnesses 47, 9278365-G, F-37053-V, 1457157-S, 26722108-H, 22411749-C, 12151358-K, Z-43731-T, F37053-V and B-45001-Z declared concerning a report on dynamite cartridges found during an inspection of the Conchita Mine in Asturias in June 2004. This mine is where the explosives used in the bombs are said to have come from. The report stated that they found 4 bags of explosives, 3 of which contained Goma 2 Eco, and one its predecessor; Goma 2 EC. Later they said they realised that another of those labelled as Goma 2 Eco was really Goma 2 EC. The explosives were tested for their components. The difference between the two explosives was the presence of dibutyl phtalate in Goma 2 Eco, and dinitrotoluene (DNT) in Goma 2 EC. The witnesses testified that production of Goma 2 EC ceased in 2002, but that there was a period of joint production of this dynamite and Goma 2 Eco between 1999 and 2002.

The specialist police witnesses 72622, 17632 and 28225 then appeared with the others (apart from F37053-V and B-45001-Z) to testify on a report concerning detonators and explosives recovered from the wreckage of the flat in Leganés destroyed in an explosion on the 3rd April 2004. They declared that a total of 17.4 kilos of Goma 2 Eco was recovered from the wreckage together with 14 green bags labelled with the name of the same explosive. Detonators were also found as well as almost 600 wrappers of dynamite cartridges. Analysis of the components of the explosive found confirmed that they matched the specification of Goma 2 Eco, no other explosive was identified.

Next came the declaration of witnesses 77626 and 81642 on a report they prepared concerning the stolen Skoda car believed to have been used by the bombers to help transport the bombs. These experts analyzed traces of explosive found in this vehicle, and testified that they were unable to formally identify a brand of explosive from the components found. Expert witness 16233000 declared on traces of nitroglycol found in a Golf car linked to the bombers.

The specialist witnesses 47, 9278365-G, F-37053-V, 1457157-S, 26722108-H, 22411749-C, 12151358-K, Z-43731-T took the stand to declare concerning the definitive report on the analysis of samples to ascertain the explosives used. A total of 88 different samples were tested of which 23 came from the sites of the explosions on the trains. The differences between the witnesses concerned a particular sample from the train that exploded at the station of El Pozo, with some of the analysts suggesting that the tests suggested the possible use of Titadine dynamite at this site, based on the traces of nitroglycerine that emerged in the analysis. Others suggested that the presence of this substance could only be due to contamination of the sample, previous tests on the same sample did not reveal the presence of nitroglycerine. There was also discussion of the presence in the same sample of dibutyl phthalate, a component of Goma 2 Eco.

3 samples of explosives recovered from the destroyed apartment in Leganés also showed traces of nitroglycerine, even though that explosive has been identified as Goma 2 Eco. Traces of the same component were also detected in samples of the bomb left on the high speed railway line, the explosive recovered from the van found in Alcalá on the day of the train bombings, and in the unexploded device found amongst personal effects from the trains. Some of the analysts suggested that this could be the product of contamination in the storage of the samples, or in the laboratory. Under questioning on whether the contamination could have occurred before bombings, the answer given was that such contamination was not detected in the tests carried out in 2004. There was discussion over whether the predecessor product of Goma 2 Eco, Goma 2 EC, contains nitroglycerine or not.

Footnote: Much of the day was taken up with debate on the results of the explosives analysis. It is important to bear in mind that the expert witnesses declaring were a mixture of police analysts, and those named by the defence or victims associations sympathetic to the conspiracy theories. Hence the emphasis by some of these "experts" on the only sample from the trains that contained nitroglycerine, vital to their case that Titadine could have been used. They offer no explanations for the presence of the dibutyl phtalate which does not belong to Titadine, or for the presence of DNT or nitroglycerine in samples of Goma 2 Eco explosive. It turns out that none of the analysts that were not from the police or Guardia Civil had any previous experience in explosives analysis. They looked for something to back their pre-prepared argument, and ignore anything that does not support that argument. Again, I refer anyone interested in more detail on this topic to my previous posts on it.

Datadiar - Daily Summary
El País - Explosives Contamination

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