Fri, Nov 02, 2007 - Page 6 News List

Rulings on Madrid bombings criticized as being too lenient

SHOCK Over three years after the incident, people affected by the Madrid attack described their feelings of utter disbelief after hearing the verdicts

THE GUARDIAN , MADRID

Survivors and relatives of those killed were shocked by what many saw as the lenient sentences handed down in the Madrid bombing trial.

Clara Escribano, who was traveling to work on the morning of March 11, 2004, when a bomb exploded on her train, said the verdict was a "great disappointment."

The 49-year old paediatric nurse underwent three operations and is deaf in one ear.

"I don't have the words to explain how I feel," she said.

Still unable to even walk past the station, she said she found it hard to believe that only Jamal Zougam and Othman el-Gnaoui were found guilty of carrying out the attacks.

"As the verdicts were read out, my stomach began to churn, and my heart beat faster," said Escribano, from the working class district of Santa Eugenia in Madrid.

"The worst moment was when Carmen Toros [the wife of Emilio Trashorras] was found not guilty. Her little smile ... it was a moment of great disappointment for the victims in the courtroom. I cannot believe that these other people will be out in the street in two days ... we have to accept the court's verdicts but at the moment I am feeling very bad," she said.

Angeles Pedraza, who lost her 25-year-old daughter in the train bombings, said that she still had not been able to take in all of the judgments, and "refused to accept" they are right. Pedraza had been hoping to find some kind of closure in the verdict, but said: "It all happened so quickly that I couldn't understand everything -- I couldn't hear some of the names being read out. Tonight I will have to sit down and have a think and tomorrow we shall carry on the fight."

Victims' associations have already stated that they intend to appeal against the sentences at the supreme court.

This story has been viewed 1453 times.
TOP top