Friday, August 03, 2007

The Trial....Day 52, June 21st

Today’s session was entirely taken up by the statement of the lawyer representing Emilio Suárez Trashorras, who is accused of being behind the sale of the explosives used in the train bombs. Like other defence lawyers, the representative of Trashorras complained about the secrecy surrounding the investigation of the bombings, saying that what is supposed to be an exceptional state became a permanent one. He said that this secrecy violated the right of his client to defend himself. The lawyer complained about the presentation of police reports as expert evidence. He also complained about the role played by the press, saying that it was not the role of the media to dictate sentence. He said that Islam had been presented as an enemy in the trial, with questions on whether someone prayed or went to a mosque.

Moving on to the accusations against his client, he said that there had been many references in the trial to Operación Pipol, which he said was a drugs trafficking case involving 17 accused. All were found guilty of drugs trafficking, but only Trashorras and Antonio Toro also received a sentence for explosives trafficking. He said that Trashorras became involved after being urged to do so by the police. He claimed there was a tape showing that the police were aware of everything going on in the case. In 2001 Trashorras did not know Rafa Zouhier, accused of being the key contact in the sale of the explosives, but that Antonio Toro did. He said that there were hundreds of telephone calls between Trashorras and his police controller, and that Trashorras told this officer about Jamal Ahmidam. When Trashorras went to the house rented by Ahmidam in Morata de Tajuña in February 2004, he had already advised his police controller the day before.

He said that in Asturias there was widespread knowledge about dynamite because it was a common tool used by miners in their work. The use of dynamite was always charged to the miner in private mines such as that where the explosives are said to have come from. Goma 2 Eco is used in 17 mines belonging to the company that owns the Mina Conchita, yet the prosecution claims to be certain that the stolen explosive came from Mina Conchita. There is no proof of the quantity of explosive that was taken from Mina Conchita. The lawyer claimed that those of the accused who transported bags to Madrid on behalf of Trashorras were carrying hashish. Concerning the testimony of Gabriel Montoya, the minor already convicted for his involvement in the explosives theft, he said that this person had changed his testimony in return for prosecution favours.

He said that his client has admitted to telling Jamal Ahmidam that there were mines where explosives could be obtained. But he also advised his police controller about this. Trashorras only told Ahmidam where he could obtain dynamite, he did not participate in its removal. His client had no way of knowing that Jamal Ahmidam was a terrorist. He said that the charge of collaborating with a terrorist organisation required knowledge of what the group was doing and Trashorras was not even aware of the existence of a terrorist group. He did not become aware of this until after the train bombings.

On the mental state of his client, the lawyer said that the retirement of his client from the mine as a result of mental illness was certified. The State granted him a pension on the basis of permanent incapacity for work. His client suffers from paranoid schizophrenia which affects his personality, and that this condition should be taken into account by the court. He asked for his client to be absolved of all charges against him.

Footnote: Trashorras is in deep trouble. The evidence presented in the trial on the theft of the explosives is not even challenged by those who would have us believe that everything is a setup. Even his own defence does not seriously challenge the accusation that substantial quantities of explosives were taken from the Mina Conchita. He is facing charges as serious as those accused of having participated actively in the bombings, and unless the judges decide to take into account the question of his mental health it doesn't look promising for him. There are serious questions marks over the actions of those in the police who were in contact with him, but I would be surprised if any of that was enough to save him.

Datadiar - Daily Summary
ABC - El abogado de Trashorras dice que no se le puede acusar "de 192 asesinatos"
El País - El abogado de Trashorras reclama saber "qué explosivo se usó en los trenes" el 11-M

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