Three guys went on trial Tuesday for assisting the jihadists behind the 2017 attacks in Barcelona and a neighboring town that eliminated 16 people and left 140 injured.
The Islamic State group took obligation for the August 17-18 bloodshed, consisting of a van ramming passers-by, all part of a string of jihadist attacks throughout Europe.
Although the six criminals were shot dead by authorities, many concerns remain with victims and prosecutors hoping Spain’s National Court trial will shed light on how the violence unfolded.
Some 235 witnesses will be called throughout the trial at a court near Madrid which will run until December 16.
Two defendants are implicated of belonging to the jihadist cell, with a third is implicated of collaborating with the group behind the August 2017 attacks AFP/ Josep LAGO
While none of the trio are charged with direct duty, they remain in the dock for helping the enemies, among whom diminished pedestrians on Barcelona’s Las Ramblas on a hectic Saturday, eliminating 14.
The motorist got away and killed another individual before being shot dead a number of days later.
In the early hours of Sunday early morning, five others rammed pedestrians in Cambrils, 100 kilometres (60 miles) further south, and fatally stabbed a lady prior to being shot dead by cops.
Main accused Mohamed Houli Chemlal declined to address concerns in court about the realities, pointing to statements given days after the attacks.
A van ploughed into the crowds on Las Ramblas in Barcelona in the 2017 attack AFP/ Josep LAGO
He said he wanted to cooperate and asked if he was sorry responded: “Clearly.”.
District attorneys then showed video of the cell preparing an explosive belt and saying the explosives would do “a great deal of damage”.
Driss Oukabir, 31, a sibling of one of the aggressors who is implicated of renting the Barcelona van, denied becoming part of a terror cell, insisting he “wasn’t religious”.
He said his brother and 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub, the Barcelona motorist, had actually asked if he would employ a van as a favour “for moving home, because they weren’t old sufficient to lease one”.
Mohamed Houli Chemlal (L), Driss Oukabir (C) and Stated Ben Iazza reject the charges POOL/ FERNANDO VILLAR.
Said Ben Iazza, 27, confessed providing his ID card and lorry to 2 business consumers who said they were going to purchase cleaning items.
He denied knowing they wanted to make dynamites and, like Oukabir, insisted he didn’t understand Abdelbaki Es Satty, the 44-year-old imam who radicalised the young men in Ripoll, their hometown in Pyrenean foothills.
A van tilled into the crowds on Las Ramblas in Barcelona in the 2017 attack AFP/ Josep LAGO.
Chemlal and Oukabir are implicated of belonging to a jihadist group, manufacturing and possessing explosives and conspiracy to create chaos, while Ben Iazza is charged with working together with the group.
District attorneys state they want Chemlal jailed for 41 years, Oukabir for 36 years while Ben Iazza deals with an eight years.
Throughout the examination, Chemlal confessed the preliminary strategy was to hit targets like Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia basilica, with cops finding documents relating to the city’s Camp Nou football arena and the Eiffel Tower.
Taking the stand, an unknown detective stated evidence was discovered that August 20 would be the date they “likely planned to carry out a terrorist attack” with vans, explosive vests and grenades.
The most likely target would be Camp Nou during a match with a focus on the exits, he stated.
However, on Friday, August 15, an unexpected explosion at a house in Alcanar between Barcelona and Valencia where they had been preparing dynamites, pushed them to hurriedly improvise the weekend attacks.
Chemlal survived the blast, however it eliminated the imam, described by the investigator as the “spiritual leader” who would send orders to his most-trusted inner circle which included 3 of the enemies.
Chemlal remained in the second circle of trust, Driss Oukabir in the third, meaning he “took part but not in such a direct method” as the others.
Cell members were connected by close relationship and family ties and didn’t connect with outsiders.
” They had actually all known each other considering that they were little, making the group virtually impenetrable,” the private investigator testified.
” The secrecy between them was remarkable.”.
Antonio Guerrero, a lawyer for the AVT fear victims’ association stated all three must be pursued “terrorist murder”.
” In our opinion, they were part of the cell,” he stated.
” We desire the state to be accountable for not controling the sale of explosives acquired by the cell to get ready for attacks.”