Photo: Rafa Zouhier
A Moroccan man sentenced to 10 years in prison as an accessory to the March 2004 train bombings in Madrid that left nearly 200 dead will be released on March 16, Spain’s National Court ruled Wednesday.
Accepting the recommendation of prosecutors, the court said Rafa Zouhier should be freed on the basis of time served.
Though he wasn’t convicted and sentenced until 2007, Zouhier has been behind bars since March 19, 2004.
Zouhier, a one-time informant for Spanish police, could be deported to Morocco after his release under a law that makes conviction for a serious crime grounds for expulsion.
On Oct. 31, 2007, the National Court sentenced Zouhier to 10 years behind bars for the crime of collaborating with the Islamist cell that staged Spain’s worst-ever terrorist strike on March 11, 2004.
The court found that Zouhier acted as an intermediary between the Spanish former miner who supplied the explosives to Jamal Ahmidan, the leader of the cell that perpetrated the attacks.
Two members of the cell, Jamal Zougam and Otman El Gnaoui, received sentences of more than 42,000 years for 191 homicides and 1,856 attempted homicides.
Former miner Jose Emilio Suarez Trashorras was sentenced to 34,715 years behind bars for his role in the plot.
During the trial, Zouhier declared himself “super-innocent” and was expelled from the courtroom on several occasions, once for nudging another defendant with his elbow.