A court in Madrid has convicted 21 defendants in the March 2004 commuter train bombings that killed 191 and injured thousands. The court delivered symbolic sentences of 38,976 years for the three lead defendants, although under Spanish law they will only serve 40 years. But, writes the Guardian, the tribunal acquitted one of the suspected masterminds and six other accused.
The defendants were under high security with helicopters overhead as the judge read out the verdicts after a five-month trial. The acquittal of Rabei Osman, however, comes as a shock: he is already a convicted terrorist doing time in Italy. The Madrid bombings, the deadliest European attack since the Lockerbie bombing, occurred three days before Spanish elections that brought Socialists to power.