The trial for the terrorist attacks that caused 16 deaths and 140 injuries in the Spanish region of Catalonia in 2017 concluded this Wednesday with requests for up to 41 years in prison for three defendants.
The headquarters of the Spanish National Court in San Fernando de Henares, near Madrid, hosted since last November the trial in which more than two hundred witnesses were summoned and during which it transpired that the jihadist cell was preparing attacks against the Eiffel Tower in Paris and in Barcelona (Spain) against relevant buildings in the city such as the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia and the Nou Camp, the stadium of FC Barcelona.
The alleged members of the cell that committed the attacks on Las Ramblas, a popular walk in a central tourist area of Barcelona, and the Catalan town of Cambrils, in the province of Tarragona, Mohamed Houli and Driss Oukabir, regretted these actions that, according to they said, they did not know what they were going to commit, and the former regretted having been with the terrorists.
Both defendants used their right to have the last word in the trial this Wednesday, which was seen for sentencing and in which the Prosecutor’s Office requested 41 and 36 years of prison for them, respectively, while the alleged collaborator of the cell Said Ben Iazza faces a request for eight years in jail.
They are accused of participating in the preparations for the attacks in Barcelona in the afternoon of August 17, 2017, through a mass run over with a van, and on the Cambrils seafront at dawn on the 18th, with knives and an ax, which left 16 dead and 140 wounded, of different nationalities.
These attacks took place after the explosion on the night of August 16, 2017 in a house in the town of Alcanar, in the province of Tarragona, in which the terrorists prepared devices to carry out attacks, in which Mohamed Houli was wounded.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, two members of the cell died, one of them Abdelbaki Es Satty, the imam of the Catalan town of Ripoll who supposedly formed it.
The Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan Police, killed in the early morning of the 18th in Cambrils the five terrorists who were attacking people on the seafront and on the 21st the author of the Las Ramblas attack, Younes Abouyaaqoub, in the town de Subirats, in the province of Barcelona.
The defenses request the acquittal of two defendants
In his turn to last word, Mohamed Houli assured that he had no knowledge “of the ideology of those people, that it has nothing to do with true Islam, which is peace and respect,” and stressed: “I do not share the extremist ideas of Daesh. “.
For his part, Driss Oukabir, accused of renting the van used in the Las Ramblas attack, said: “I am very sorry for everything that happened.”
“What interest would I have in all that has happened if I have also lost a loved one”, asked Driss Oukabir in reference to the death of a brother of his when he was participating in the Cambrils attack.
Said Ben Iazza, accused of lending his documentation and a van for cell members to buy explosives precursors, referred to his lawyer’s report.
The lawyers of Driss Oukabir and Said Ben Iazza asked for the acquittal of both, maintaining that the first did a favor to his brother and the second to some regular customers of his butcher shop but that they were unaware that the vans were going to be used to commit attacks jihadists.
Said Ben Iazza’s lawyer also demanded the immediate release of his client after having spent three and a half years in provisional prison, with which he would have already served almost half of the sentence requested by the Prosecutor’s Office.
The defense of Mohamed Houli considers that he should be sentenced to a maximum of four years in prison for cooperation in the deposit of explosives, since the extenuating circumstances of confession of the facts and collaboration with the investigation must be applied to him.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.