- North Africa
Moroccan convicted of Madrid bombings vows to appeal
Abdelilah Ahriz has been convicted for raising money for terrorist activities as well as being part of the criminal group that carried out the Madrid bombings in 2004, by a criminal court in Morocco.
The 31-year-old Moroccan, Abdelilah Ahriz, was sentenced, Thursday, to a 20 year prison term.
However, Ahriz’s lawyer said there were irregularities in the DNA reports that were used as evidence to convict his client and insisted that Ahriz was not guilty as charged.
Ahriz himself still denies all the charges especially as he had been acquitted of belonging to a terrorist group in a separate trial.
Moroccan human rights groups who have often criticized convictions for terrorist offences as being flawed have also taken up Ahriz’s conviction under the microscope.
Reports claim that Abdelilah Ahriz has been widely held responsible for the activities that caused nearly 200 deaths and more than 1,800 injuries in Madrid.
Reported records also show that the majority of those who have been convicted since the Madrid bombings, whether in Spain or in Morocco, have been Moroccan citizens.
The Madrid attacks led to a profound re-evaluation of the relationship between Spain and Morocco.
Two weeks ago another Moroccan received a 10-year sentence over the Madrid attacks.
Ahriz who is now the latest Moroccan to receive a heavy prison sentence for playing a role in the bombings has denied the charges and his lawyer has vowed to appeal the verdict.