Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Deadline For Appeals Approaches

The deadline for appeals to be lodged against the sentence for the train bombings runs out in early January. According to a report yesterday in El País there may be as many as 29 appeals presented. This number includes appeals by defendants as well as those by the prosecution or by parties to the prosecution.

In the case of those who have been sentenced for participation in the bombings the appeal process in Spain does not give them a second bite at the cherry. The appeal cannot revise all of the prosecution case against them, it can only deal with defects or errors in the original trial. Despite this limitation it appears that most of those convicted are going to appeal against their sentence.

The state prosecutors intend to appeal the absolution of Rabei Osman el Sayed Ahmed on the charges of membership of a terrorist group. He was not convicted of this offence because he has already been sentenced in Italy for the equivalent offence. According to El País the prosecution appeal will be based on the fact that the Italian sentence has not yet been confirmed (it is also awaiting appeal) and also may claim that the group with which the defendant associated in Spain is not the same as that of Italy.

Meanwhile the Asociación 11-M Afectados de Terrorismo which represents many of the victims of the attack, has indicated its intention of appealing against the absolution of some of the accused (Carmen and Antonio Toro), and also against what they consider to be light sentences for some of those convicted (including Rafa Zouhier and Abdelmajid Bouchar).

El País - El Supremo tendrá que resolver 29 recursos contra las condenas del 11-M

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