Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Trial....Day 48, June 13th

The session began with the closing statement by the Asociacion de Victimas del Terrorismo (AVT). The AVT's lawyer cast doubt on the evidence against Rabei Osman el Sayed Ahmed, pointing out the differences between translations of the recordings of his conversations. He said that the AVT's conclusion was that this person had knowledge of what was being planned but that does not mean he was one of the instigators of the bombings.

The lawyer then turned to criticisms of the AVT for the way they had acted in the trial, and denied that this association had acted in favour of the accused or that it had requested that they be freed. The AVT had only wanted to discover all of the truth about what had happened, and was not happy with the way the investigation had been conducted. He claimed that they had to wait 3 years to get a complete analysis on the explosives used in the bombings, and that it was not possible that the bomb disposal squad would have been unable to identify the components of the explosives used. The custody of the samples preserved from the trains had not been adequate.

The AVT's representative then talked of the existence of a "hand that rocked the cradle". He accepted that the explosive had been supplied in the way described by the prosecution, but maintained that it was not possible to insist that Goma 2 Eco had been the dynamite used on the trains. He rejected the theory that the samples tested had been contaminated. He insisted that the investigation needed to continue and that the AVT was not satisfied with the process as carried out. The AVT did not believe that the security forces were behind the attacks, but there were doubts concerning the relationship between these forces and the police informers involved in the bombings.

Next came the statement on behalf of Pilar Manjon, mother of one of the victims. Her lawyer criticised the need to prepare reports on possible involvement of ETA in the bombings, and said that the only person who had not told the truth on this issue in the trial was Agustin Díaz de Mera who was responsible for a shameful spectacle. On the explosives issue, only one of the samples from the trains showed traces of nitroglycerine, and the person carrying out this test had no experience in explosives analysis. On those from Asturias accused of supplying the explosives, the lawyer said that they formed an illegal association with the intention of committing offences. Already in 2001 it was possible to identify Antonio Toro and Emilio Suárez Trashorras as being involved in drug and explosives trafficking. Carmen Toro was also involved as part of the leadership of this group; Javier González Díaz acted as the lieutenant of Trashorras. The point of connection between the Asturian group and the Islamist cell was Rafa Zouhier, a violent and dangerous person who does not like to be called an informer, but whose defence depends primarily on being one. The role of Javier González in explosives trafficking is described in the evidence from Gabriel Montoya. Carmen Toro participated in all of the important meetings between the two groups and was fully aware of what was happening.

The final declaration in this session came from the lawyer acting on behalf of "Roberto Barroso and others". This lawyer stated that the bombings were the work of a radical jihadist group. He stressed the importance of the role played by Rafa Zouhier.

Footnote: Once again we got the contrast between those parties to the accusation who work to sustain it, and those like the AVT who have worked so hard to undermine it. On the one hand you get arguments against named persons based on the evidence presented against them; on the other you get talk of the "hand that rocked the cradle" alluding to a hidden conspiracy which those who propose it have been completely unable to demonstrate. The problem they have is that the accusation of ETA involvement which they sustained for so long has been so thoroughly discredited that they are left with nothing more than untestable insinuations of dark forces at work. Interestingly enough, none of these associations propagating the conspiracy theories have followed through on the dubious logic of their arguments, they still maintain the accusation against the accused where consistency would suggest they have to withdraw it.

Datadiar - Daily Summary
ABC - Statement by AVT
El País - AVT

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