Alleged Madrid train bombings mastermind acquitted as other defendants found guilty

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

A Spanish court has acquitted an Egyptian man who allegedly bragged that he had masterminded the 2004 Madrid bombings.

The attacks on four packed commuter trains killed 191 people.

Twenty-eight people in all were charged, and four lead defendants were found guilty of murder and other charges. They were given prison sentences that stretched to thousands of years, although the most time they can spend in prison is 40 years.

Spain has no death penalty or life imprisonment.

Fourteen other defendants were found guilty of lesser charges, such as belonging to a terrorist group. Seven others were acquitted.

Most of the defendants were young Muslim men from North Africa. They were accused of acting out of allegiance to al-Qaida. There were also nine Spaniards on trial.

The suspected ringleaders of the attacks blew themselves up in a safe house outside Madrid three weeks after the bombings as special forces closed in on them.

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